Police find stuffed animals – level 3
Police in Spain seized one of the largest discoveries of taxidermy animals in Europe.
Police found a giant warehouse near Valencia that contained nearly 200 ivory elephant tusks and a collection of more than 1,000 stuffed animals, including rhinos, polar bears, elephants, lions, leopards, and a lynx.
The estimated worth of the haul was 32 million dollars, and it included over 400 protected species. Some of them were extinct, such as the scimitar oryx, that was declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2000. Some animals were severely threatened, such as the Bengal tiger and addax, a white antelope.
The owner of the warehouse hasn’t been arrested; however, he’s under investigation for smuggling and for crimes against flora and fauna. Officials said they would investigate whether any documentation justified the possession of the animals.
Difficult words: taxidermy (cleaning, preserving and filling the skins of dead animals to make them look as if they’re alive), haul (something that’s been stolen or that’s possessed illegally), extinct (a species that no longer exists).
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