THE Guardia Civil is investigating the owner of a private taxidermy collection with more than 1,000 animals, including some that are protected or extinct species.

The collection is valued at €29 million and the owner is said to be a prominent Valencian businessman.

He is being probed for smuggling and environmental crimes.

Collection Size

Officers identified 1,090 stuffed animals in a warehouse covering more than 50,000 square meters in Betera

The entrepreneur claims that he had inherited most of the animals from his father.

He has not been arrested and the Guardia Civil is trying to establish where the animals came from and whether any documentation exists to justify their possession.

Species of cheetah, leopard, polar bear, rhinoceros, along with nearly 200 ivory elephant tusks, were among the extensive collection.

Croc Pic

450 of the animals are considered to be ‘protected’ by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Among the collection was at least one Scimitar oryx, which was declared extinct in 2000. The nearly extinct Bengal tiger and addax, which is a white antelope, are also among the collection.


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