Live Samar cobras, Mangrove snakes and vipers, as well as dozens of monitor lizards and geckos, all numbering up to 88 stared officers in the face as they opened the traveller’s luggage after arresting him at the Vienna airport in Austria.
The Austrian man who was allegedly smuggling the reptiles from the Philippines, was stopped as he arrived via Doha on Sunday.
Austria’s Finance Ministry said during screening, the man admitted that the luggage contained poisonous snakes, and then officers decided to transfer the closed luggage to Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo, where experts opened it.
Many of the smaller animals were transported in nylon stockings.
The traveler said that he had planned to sell the reptiles at a fair in Germany.
He faces legal proceedings for alleged breach of Austria’s law regulation trade in protected species.
The zoo in Vienna as well as an Austrian reptile zoo agreed to take in the animals.