The surviving species of 74 chameleons, stuffed into ice cream cones and transported in a suitcase from Tanzania to Austria, have now given birth after adapting to life at the Vienna Zoo.
The Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, welcomed a generation of rare chameleons brought to the zoo after customs discovered them in January 2021 during an X-ray examination of male luggage.
According to the police, the man was originally traveling from Tanzania to the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, and intended to sell lizards on the black market for about $ 44,000.
According to the World Economic Forum, wildlife trafficking is “the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and weapons.” The market for trafficked animals can generate between $ 7 billion and $ 23 billion a year.
According to the Tanzania Wildlife Conservation Society, Tanzania is home to 1,077 species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Wildlife trafficking and poaching further threaten these species.
The man was immediately arrested, while most of the chameleons in good health were brought to the zoo. Upon arrival, they were given appropriate facilities և veterinary examination.
According to Stefan Herring-Hagenbeck, director of the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo, the generations are clear evidence that professional care at the zoo has benefited protected animals.
“Almost every tenth chameleon has laid eggs now,” said Herring-Hagenbeck. “In nature, they will all be endangered by environmental degradation and smuggling.”
“The first chameleon to come out was the Nguru pygmy chameleon, which is threatened with extinction due to its small size,” he added.
Nguru pig chameleons or Rhampholeon acuminatus are incredibly small, only 2.4 inches long, and their offspring are only 0.4 inches long. The chameleon’s tail is half its size.
Chameleons were a real challenge even for zoo professionals, said Anton Weissenbacher, curator of the Tiergarten Schronbrunn Zoo.
“These chameleon species have so far received almost no human care,” Weissenbacher said. “We contacted several owners and received a detailed study to meet the needs of the animals.”
Weissenbacher explained how the zoo put a lot of effort into making a separate room for chameleons, renting a zoo to provide them with special care.
As a result, a total of 12 young chameleons have emerged in the last two weeks alone.
The management of the zoo hopes to fight against the extinction of these species by building reserve populations in the area of their facilities.
(Edited by Katie Taranto և Kristen Butler)
The post VIDEO. Calm chameleons. Rare reptiles found in smuggling socks at a new zoo home first appeared on Zenger News.
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