By Henry Austin
Customs officers at Britain’s Heathrow Airport got a slippery surprise when they discovered 13 “incredibly rare” iguanas wrapped in socks, officials said Tuesday.
The endangered San Salvador Rock Iguanas were found inside a suitcase coming in from the Bahamas by customs officers. All but one of the creatures that had each been wrapped in an individual sock survived the journey as one had died in transit. They are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
“This particular species of iguana is incredibly rare, only a few hundred are believed to be left in existence,” said Grant Miller, head of the Border Force, CITES, team. “So this was a remarkable and very important seizure.”
The surviving animals were dehydrated and are now under the supervision of a specialist vet he added, calling it "incredible" that all but one survived the flight.
Two Romanian women, aged 24 and 26 were arrested on suspicion of importation offenses. They were due to fly on to Dusseldorf in Germany.