OSLO (Reuters) - A man was caught by Norwegian customs carrying a tarantula in his bag, and a further 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos taped to his body, media reported Monday.
The 22-year-old Norwegian was stopped in a routine check by Kristiansand customs after arriving on a ferry from Denmark, newspaper Faedrelandsvennen reported.
Customs found the tarantula, before deciding to give him a full body search that revealed 14 stockings — one for each snake — taped around his torso, top selling tabloid VG said.
Reptile smuggling is not uncommon in Norway, which prohibits people holding many reptile species as pets, but office manager Helge Breilid at Kristiansand customs was quoted by VG as saying customs officers had been “horrified” by Sunday’s catch.
“Customs officers quickly realized the man was smuggling animals, because his whole body was in constant motion,” Breilid told VG.
When the man dropped his pants, the officers found 10 cans taped to his legs, each containing a lizard, he said.
The man was still being held by police Monday, Kristiansand police attorney Johann Martin Kile told VG, adding he would be released upon agreeing to pay a 12,500 Norwegian crowns ($2,256) fine.
The reptiles were handed over to a security firm until Norwegian authorities decide what to do with them, Breilid said.
Reporting by Richard Solem