Monday, August 01, 2005

European database planned after spate of zoo thefts

European zoo authorities say they plan to set up an international database to register animals that are being stolen in growing numbers to feed demand from private collectors and unscrupulous dealers in the exotic pet trade.

The call for a Europe-wide computerised inventory follows a spate of thefts of animals in France over the last year including flamingoes, parrots, wallabies, monkeys, birds of prey and even penguins.

In 2004 several British zoos were targeted by thieves looking for small monkeys such as marmosets and tamarinds. Some 40 animals were taken before the break-ins abruptly stopped -- giving rise to speculation that the criminals were filling an order from an anonymous mastermind.

Story here.

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