Spanish Police Seize More than 1000 Illegal Taxidermy Animals

Police forces in Spain have discovered one of Europe’s biggest taxidermy hauls, a private collection of over 1,000 stuffed animals — including rhinos, elephants, and polar bears — at a giant warehouse.

Spain’s Civil Guard said in a statement that the stuffed animals were housed in a 50,000 square meter industrial warehouse in Betera, Valencia.

Authorities have identified at least one specimen of the already extinct North African oryx from the haul of 1,090 stuffed animals, with more than 400 protected species and two more species nearly extinct – the addax, or white antelope, originally from the Sahara desert and the Bengal tiger.

Police also found stuffed specimens of cheetah, leopard, lion, lynx, polar bear, snow panther, and white rhinoceros, including 198 large ivory tusks from elephants.

Police also said that the owner, a well-known Valencian businessman, is under investigation for smuggling and environmental crimes.

However, the Valencian businessman claimed he had inherited most of the animals from his father.

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