(OT) Australia - Czech hides lizards in nether regions

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Man had lizards in underwear, court told
Source: AAP
Published: Thursday February 10, 1:54 PM

A Czech holidaymaker was jailed today after being caught trying to smuggle 31 endangered lizards out of Australia in his underwear.

Ales Havelka, 30, found with pouches full of lizards in his clothes, had made similar attempts to seize wildlife in Mauritius and Peru, a suburban court was told.

Magistrate Allan Spillane told Havelka he had made a 'planned attack on the safety of Australian wildlife' and should learn to conduct himself as a 'world citizen'.

Havelka was stopped by customs officials as he tried to leave Australia bound for the Czech Republic on Monday, Broadmeadows Court was told.

Daniela Duviani, prosecuting, said when Havalka was searched, officers found two pouches on him and noticed they were moving.

Each pouch contained a number of small lizards.

He said he had more concealed under his jeans near his ankles.

A further search revealed a number of bulges in the thermal underwear near his ankles, Ms Duviani said.

A total of 31 small Australian native lizards or geckos were found in the search.

Havelka said he collected lizards and found these ones in South Australia and New South Wales.

It was estimated the lizards were worth between $US400 and $US2,000 each.

Robert Walters, prosecuting for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said 13 knob-tailed geckos, seven bearded geckos and 11 southern leaf-tailed geckos had been found.

Six of these lizards were endangered species.

Mr Walters said Halvelka had been detained in Mauritius and Peru for attempting to take wildlife.

Havelka, who was in Australia on holiday, found other lizards on the roadside in the Whyalla area in South Australia and others at Mona Vale, in New South Wales.

Officers seized the creatures and took them to the Melbourne Zoo.

Kellie (Kellie) Blair, defending, said Havelka was a lizard collector and had not intended to sell them - he wanted to use them for breeding.

He had a collection of 25 species of geckos and 120 lizards at home in the Czech Republic, she said.

Magistrate Mr Spillane told Havelka this was a 'direct, planned attack on the safety of Australian wildlife.

'I think it's time you were told you simply have to conduct yourself as a proper world citizen if you are going to travel to other countries.'

Havelka pleaded guilty to a charge of exporting a prohibited export and possessing endangered wildlife.

He was convicted and sentenced to one month's imprisonment.


Posted in aid of international tolerance & understanding...,& the preservation of our rare lizards! Score lizards 1 - Czech 0

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 10, 2000


Sorry dudes, slow news night....:o)

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 10, 2000.

Smuggling lizards in your underwear is probably a lot safer than smuggling ferrets in your underwear.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), February 10, 2000.

Leapin' Lizards!

It's amazing what people will do for $$$$$.

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), February 10, 2000.

Good thing he wasn't caught in the US. There is a fine here of up to $15,000 per day, per specimen for harassing, harming, injuring, killing an individual, or modifiying habitat so that it results in death or impairment of an essential life function etc. of an endangered animal. In other words, he could have been fined up to $465,000 per day.

-- marsh (siskfarm@snowcrest.net), February 10, 2000.

Just think of how serious it could have been if it were squirrels he was bring in ... brave sort ... or had them muzzled :-)

Hey Pieter...you come up with some far out stuff sometimes... its a kick in the pants knowing you... BRyan

-- S BRyan G III (sbrg3@juno.com), February 10, 2000.

You are assuming he was harrassing the lizards.....what if they liked it in his pants?

I am reminded of a certain urban legend about gophers, beavers, chipmonks, ground hogs, or guiane pig (-1 sp), ferret (or other such squirrely skinny rodent) in the intimate regions of a certain Hollywood celebrity.....now that animal most likely DIDN'T like it one bit. Or once bit, whatever came first......the rodent or the person supposedly implanted with the rodent.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), February 10, 2000.

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