MUNICH, Germany (AFP) – A German man stopped at customs with 49 live exotic lizards in his bag claimed they were destined for the cooking pot and even offered to bite one’s head off to prove it, officials said Wednesday.
Customs officials halted the 28-year-old at Munich airport on his way back from Oman and were staggered to find in his luggage a menagerie including 31 spiny-tailed lizards and 18 other reptiles, including geckos and wall lizards.
The man had gone through the green channel at customs, believing his cargo to be “foodstuffs” rather than live animals, he explained.
“The traveller even wanted to bite the head off one of the spiny-tailed lizards in front of the customs official,” said Thomas Meister, a spokesman for German customs.
Fortunately for the lizard, the official declined the invitation, and the reptiles were impounded and therefore spared from the pan.
“The man will probably get a fine of at least 1,000 euros ($1,300),” the customs said in a statement.
“The animals are now being housed in the proper conditions and are in the rudest of health,” officials added.