Endangered crocodile skull seized by police – Leamington
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A critically endangered crocodile skull has been seized from a property in Leamington, after a woman purchased it without realising the implications.
The skull was bought on eBay from a trader in China, and was unknowingly imported into the country despite the specimen being protected under Control Of Trade in Endangered Species (CoTES) Regulations.
The item has now been seized by officers and will be used to educate the public at events throughout the year.
PC Andy Timmins from Warwickshire’s Rural Crime Team said: “Sadly, the woman was horrified at the realisation she had acquired such an endangered artefact and had no idea about the implications of her purchase.
“After speaking to her we were satisfied this was an honest mistake, so she was given advice and a warning.
“Please let this be a warning to others buying items like this online. If you're in any doubt about what you are purchasing, please make sure you do the necessary checks online first.
"Seizures like this one are not only important to help stop illegal trade, but are also an opportunity to educate the public about protecting endangered species."
The Siamese Crocodile is a critically endangered Annex A species under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (COTES) Regulations.
Under COTES it is an offence to sell, keep for sale, offer for sale, transport for sale, use for a commercial purpose, or purchase anything which claims to be made from an Annex A species.
The illegal trade in endangered species is a huge international business, which makes profits for the poachers, traffickers and traders. Most of the world's endangered species that are threatened by trade are killed to be made into products, which are then sold illegally in the UK and other countries.