Colombia’s national police claimed on Monday that they had apprehended more than 1,000 ocelots, snakes, birds, and other animals worth more than $1 million on the black market.
The police stated in a statement that the statewide investigation, which was assisted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and local environmental agencies, resulted in the detention of 21 people.
“The national police, in collaboration with wildlife officials from the United States, have completed the most significant operation to protect Colombia’s protected species,” said General Jorge Luis Vargas, the country’s top law enforcement official.
The 1,004 critters, which include turtles, starfish, and tarantulas, have been placed in the custody of environmental authorities at this time.
Despite the fact that Colombia is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, authorities there have so far this year rescued 5,994 animals from possible trafficking.