Spanish police discover warehouse full of taxidermy animals

Police inspect some of the stuffed animals including rhinos, polar bears, elephants and other animalsPolice inspect some of the stuffed animals including rhinos, polar bears, elephants and other animals

In what is being called one of Europe’s biggest taxidermy hauls, police in Spain have discovered a private collection of over 1,000 stuffed animals- including rhinos, elephants and polar bears at a giant warehouse.

Spain’s Civil Guard said in a statement on Sunday that it discovered the specimens in a 50,000 square meter industrial warehouse in Betera, Valencia on Wednesday.

The haul of 1,090 stuffed animals has more than 400 protected species, including at least one specimen of the already extinct North African oryx.

The agents recorded at least two more species nearly extinct: the addax, or white antelope, originally from the Sahara desert and the Bengal tiger.

They also found stuffed specimens of cheetah, leopard, lion, lynx, polar bear, snow panther and white rhinoceros, and 198 large ivory tusks from elephants.

The owner, a well-known Valencian business is under investigation for smuggling and environmental crimes, police said.

The entrepreneur claims that he had inherited most of the animals from his father, newspaper Las Provincias reported.

He has not been arrested and a probe is underway to determine where the animals came from.

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