The Biological Research Institute of Uruguay reported finding 60 tarantulas, divided into three envelopes, destined for the Dominican Republic.
The tarantulas are considered the largest of the species found in Uruguay and are native to the country.
The Biological Research Institute of Uruguay under the Ministry of Education and Culture, which is head of rehabilitating the seized species, confirmed that the spiders were found stuffed into small bags inside the envelopes.
Anita Aisenberg, a researcher at the Montevideo-based institute, said the report came a few days ago. An office had reported a suspicious envelope with a false return address, and upon opening, the shocked workers found 20 giant spiders.
“Unfortunately again last Monday another office notified us of two more packages containing 40 species,” Aisenberg told local Channel 10 news.
“They come, they take them from here, where are more abundant, because they are species that are not found in the north (Europe and the U.S.) and are sold on at pet shops at considerably higher prices.”
In Uruguay, a decree prohibits the hunting, possession, transport, commercialization and industrialization of all wild animal species found in the country, in addition to the destruction of species’ shelters, dens, nests and habitats.
According to reports, the species “Grammostolas quirogai” is considered to be the largest tarantula in Uruguay.
In September of 2014, Aisenberg spoke on TV about the declining population of tarantulas in Uruguay, stating “they should not be adopted as pets”.
— El Observador (@ObservadorUY) septiembre 11, 2014