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Weirdest Animal-Smuggling Incidents

Italy: Hamsters, Squirrels, Mice, Chameleons

Traffic police in Bari, Italy, stopped a hatchback car for a routine check in September 2009 only to be greeted by 1,700 critters stuffed into boxes in the trunk. The animals included 216 budgies, 300 white mice, 150 hamsters, 30 Japanese squirrels, six chameleons, and more than 1,000 terrapins. According to the officers, the driver had planned to sell the terrapins for about $28 each. The animals were transported to regional zoos while the driver was investigated for links to an animal-smuggling ring and to determine whether his plans involved cross-border smuggling.

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