In a raid on an apartment in Ebersberg in Bavaria, Germany, around 500 exotic animals were found, including spiders, monkeys, scorpions, and alligators.
The raid apparently happened back in July, 2008, but the three people involved were arrested in Switzerland at the beginning of this year and finally appeared in court Wednesday.
According to the defendants, they had the exotic animals in the apartment as part of scientific research. They claimed they were covered by diplomatic immunity as the Sierra Leone government had made them “scientific attaches.”
However, the court was not sympathetic, as a representative for the state veterinary office said that the animals were kept in conditions which were not “suitable for the species.”
One of the defendants, a 52-year-old man, told the court that he was a scientist and that he had a “vested interest” in healthy animals, otherwise they wouldn’t have “produced the goods.”
According to the man, they were involved in tumor therapy research and he argued that “State and court have an ethical duty to connect to such research.”
He stressed that he and the other defendants had made no financial profit from their work, although the company he worked for, and who paid the apartment rental, were supposed to give him a share of profits from any patents resulting from the research. He said that now their experiments had been dismantled, this would no longer happen.
According to a spokesperson for the Ebersberg Veterinary office, the conditions under which the exotic animals were kept were bad. He told the Local their cages and enclosures were in a dirty condition and the creatures had been deprived of both food and water. Some of the animals were ill or had infected wounds and many had already died. He said the animals have now been re-homed in appropriate homes.
‘Zoo’ of exotic animals found in Bavaria: Three people appeared in court on Wednesday after authorities found… http://t.co/TShci5lik3
— U News Today (@UNewsToday) March 19, 2015
According to the German language news website Süddeutsche, a veterinarian from the reptile center in Munich confirmed he had been present during the raid of the apartment when over 100 reptiles were removed from the premises.
Reportedly, police were alerted to what amounted to an zoo of exotic animals when the company, mentioned by the defendant, failed to pay the rent. When the landlord visited the premises, he found the 500 creatures in the apartment.
Resulting from the court case in connection with the exotic animals, two 52- and 48-year-old men and a 49-year-old woman have been accused of 81 violations of the Animal Welfare Act and are currently in jail awaiting sentencing.
In other unusual animal news, the Inquisitr reports that the remains of a massive crocodile ancestor has been discovered in North Carolina.
[Image: Scorpion CC by-SA 3.0 Dbenbenn]