Philippine wildlife laws prohibit the trading, collection and possession of such spiders without permits.
Philippine customs officials were astonished when they opened nicely gift-wrapped boxes of cookies and oatmeal flown in from Poland and found hundreds of live tarantulas.
Bureau of Customs personnel seized the 757 tarantulas at a post exchange centre near Manila’s international airport on Monday and later arrested a Filipino man who tried to claim the long-legged and venomous spiders, which were declared as “collection items”.
Philippine wildlife laws prohibit the trading, collection and possession of such spiders, which are popular pets among arachnid enthusiasts, without permits.
Despite threats of hefty fines and imprisonment, a startling array of wildlife have been seized by customs inspectors by the hundreds in Manila since last year, including geckos, iguanas, chameleons and a popular reptile called bearded dragons.