By Zoie O'Brien
A Walthamstow man who illegally purchased the stuffed remains of two endangered species of monkey on the internet has been cautioned by police.
Officers from Waltham Forest police's Wildlife Crime unit found the specimen framed in a box at a home in Vallentin Road earlier this month.
Police visited the home after receiving information from the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) that a buyer on an auction site had illegally purchased the stuffed remains of an endangered species.
The item had been placed in brass-framed, glass case containing two half animal skulls.
One half of the item appeared to be a monkey specimen preserved by taxidermy with fur in place and a glass eye inserted.
The other half was a monkey head de-fleshed so that only the skull remained.
The man voluntarily attended an east London police station later the same day.
On June 17 the 38-year-old man was cautioned after admitting an offence contrary to Section 8(2) the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997.
He admitted failing to make reasonable enquiries of the seller to ascertain whether the specimen was imported or acquired lawfully.
Wildlife Crime Officer PC David Saffery said: "Before anyone decides to buy a wildlife-related item such as this, they must ensure it is comes from a legitimate source and that they are complying with the law."
The item has been seized by police and will be used for educational and training purposes.
Due to many monkey species being protected and considered endangered, it is an offence to sell, offer for sale or keep for sale endangered species of monkey listed under European regulations without checking it was legally imported.
In many cases a licence from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is required to sell the specimen.
The trade in all derivatives of these animals is strictly controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement between governments.