Malaysian authorities save hundreds of lizards

September 22, 2010
A monitor lizard flicks tounge as it roams freely around the Philippine island of Palawan. Malaysian wildlife authorities have seized 422 clouded monitor lizards being smuggled out of the country and destined for cooking pots in Asia.

Malaysian wildlife authorities said Wednesday they had seized 422 clouded monitor lizards being smuggled out of the country and destined for cooking pots in Asia.

Abdul Razak Majid, wildlife and national parks chief in southern Johor state, said two men were arrested on September 20 when their lorry was stopped following a tip-off, leading to the discovery of the lizards.

"The monitor lizards, which we believe were captured in jungles in the area, were wrapped in nets and placed in fruit crates," he told AFP.

"Investigations show that the animals were being smuggled out of the country and would be sold for their meat which is considered a delicacy in some neighbouring countries and also for making medicine," he added.

Abdul Razak said that once investigations were completed, the would be released into the wild in the state's national parks.

A Malaysian court earlier this month sentenced Malaysian wildlife trafficker Anson Wong to six months in jail for trying to smuggle 95 endangered boa constrictors to neighbouring Indonesia.

Activists have criticised the lenient sentence and authorities have promised to seek a tougher punishment.

Despite efforts by Southeast Asian authorities to crack down on illegal smuggling and wildlife trafficking, the practice still persists in the region, posing a threat to a number of species, activists say.

The Star newspaper reported this week that Malaysia's wildlife department will undergo a shake-up to remove officers collaborating with traders.

Explore further: Mongolian wildlife face extinction crisis

Related Stories

Jumbo-sized discovery made in Malaysia

January 14, 2009

New data released today by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Malaysia's Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) reveals that a population of endangered Asian elephants living in a Malaysian park may be the largest ...

Anti-piracy pup sniffs out 35,000 illegal DVDs

June 3, 2009

A DVD-sniffing anti-piracy dog named Paddy has uncovered a huge cache of 35,000 discs in Malaysian warehouses, many destined for export to Singapore, industry officials said on Wednesday.

Malaysian officials save endangered Malayan tiger

October 5, 2009

Malaysian wildlife authorities rescued a five-year old Malayan tiger, badly injured in a snare set up by poachers near the country's jungle border with Thailand, officials said Monday.

Malaysian authorities rescue 130 pangolins

December 20, 2009

Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the protected species, destined to be sold to restaurants and medicine shops.

Recommended for you

Scientists overcome key CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing hurdle

December 1, 2015

Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT have engineered changes to the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system that significantly cut down on "off-target" ...

Study finds 'rudimentary' empathy in macaques

December 1, 2015

(—A pair of researchers with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université Lyon, in France has conducted a study that has shown that macaques have at least some degree of empathy towards their fellow ...

Which came first—the sponge or the comb jelly?

December 1, 2015

Bristol study reaffirms classical view of early animal evolution. Whether sponges or comb jellies (also known as sea gooseberries) represent the oldest extant animal phylum is of crucial importance to our understanding of ...

Trap-jaw ants exhibit previously unseen jumping behavior

December 1, 2015

A species of trap-jaw ant has been found to exhibit a previously unseen jumping behavior, using its legs rather than its powerful jaws. The discovery makes this species, Odontomachus rixosus, the only species of ant that ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.