BOUND GAGGED POSTED
Cruelty & corruption in the illegal wildlife trade.
TEXT JUSTIN MENGUZZI PHOTOGRPAPHY DOUG GIMESY
Australia has almost 900 native reptile species, of which more than 90 per cent exist nowhere else. But all is not well in their world…
Each year, hundreds of native reptiles – including blue-tongue lizards like this one stuffed in a sock – are smuggled overseas.
Animals are bound and hidden inside electronic devices and containers (including Milo tins), before being mailed to reptile collectors.
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If they come across a snake while looking for a shingleback, it’s like finding $1000 lying on the ground.”
Their unusual colourings and behaviours make them highly valued on the international pet market.
If smugglers come across a snake while looking for a shingleback, it’s like finding $1000 lying on the ground. They’re not going to walk past.
NORTHERN LEAF-TAILED GECKO
Australia's top 4
Trapped for days without access to air, water or food, some survive their horrific ordeal…
But most don’t.
Thankfully, there’s a team of passionate and dedicated wildlife officers tackling this inhumane trade head on.