Mount Isa reptile thieves charged

Police and department officials display some of the reptiles seized.
Police and department officials display some of the reptiles seized.

Mount Isa police and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection have charged two men following the discovery of more than 30 animals and reptiles with an expected street value of more than $160,000.

Two men were intercepted in a vehicle on Old Mica Creek Road in Mount Isa on July 13.

Police will allege a search of the vehicle uncovered more than 30 animals listed as protected under the Nature Conservation Act.

The animals seized included a black headed python, blue-tongue lizard as well as rare frogs and lizards, snakes, geckos and skinks, which were released into the care of Department officials.

However the two rare frogs later died. Police said the animals were taken in remote areas of Queensland and NT.

A 19-year-old Dalby man and a 27-year-old Lower Beechmont man will appear in Mount Isa Magistrates Court on August 7 charged with nine counts of restriction on keeping or using a taken protected animal.

Detective Acting Sergeant Jarrod Horne said the detection of these offences and seizure of the protected animals would have a significant impact on deterring future offences.

“As investigations continue into this incident, we’re also encouraging anyone who has knowledge or information regarding this investigation or other incidents involving the theft of native fauna to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”