At least 400 reptiles and amphibians smuggled from Madagascar and destined for America’s exotic pet trade have been found dead in South Africa after their connecting flight was delayed.
More than 1,600 of the creatures were found when staff noticed a bad smell during an inspection of the cargo building at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.
The geckos, frogs, chameleons, skinks, lizards and toads, many of them endangered species, had been tied up in small muslin bags or crammed into overcrowded plastic tubs for about five days.
Ms Hay said it was a concern that rare animals were being seen as mere commodities, without concern for the welfare.
'People who have exotic animals as pets must realise that they are causing this cruelty,' she told SAPA. 'Without the demand for these animals as pets, there would be no market and these animals would not be stolen from the wild.'
Do not breed. Do not buy. ADOPT. Reptiles and other exotics are literally flooding rescue centres. Help to prevent this cruelty.