Israel Border Police and the inspectors from the Nature and Parks Authority seized 80 animals worth tens of thousands of shekels on Wednesday at the village Tur'an near the Golani Junction.
The 27-year-old suspect's house was raided in a joint action by the Rural Assault Unit of the Israel Border Police and the Removal Unit of the Nature and Parks Authority, according to an Israel Border Police spokesperson.
During the search, a room was discovered in the suspect's house allegedly used by its owner for breeding and raising unique exotic animals as defined under the Law on the ownership of protected animals.
Approximately 80 exotic animals worth tens of thousands of shekels that are prohibited to possess were found in the room, the majority of which were pythons.
Police suspect that the animals were smuggled into Israel. Some of the animals can be dangerous to people and nature, transmit diseases, and some are even at risk of becoming highly invasive species.
Then suspect was detained for further questioning by police.
Exotic animals require permits for trade or possession
Yaniv Shalom, a researcher at the Wild Animal Crime Prevention Unit at the Nature and Parks Authority, said, that with the police's help, they "were able to reach a breeder that illegally kept a large number of animals - which are wild animals and protected natural values; they were transferred to rehabilitation and veterinary tests in a protected facility. The suspect was questioned and a criminal investigation case was opened."
Shalom wished to remind citizens that a list of species available for private ownership or trade can be found on the website of the Nature and Parks Authority and that only you should only buy animals from traders with valid permits from the Nature and Parks Authority. He added that the animals must be kept in good welfare conditions.