• Germany's news in English

Customs seize falcon wearing Nazi SS hat

DPA/The Local · 21 May 2014, 11:36

Published: 21 May 2014 11:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The package, which came from Indonesia, was deemed suspicious when it arrived at the central customs office in Frankfurt last year, resulting in it being sent on to the recipient's local customs office in Düsseldorf.

The find was only made public on Tuesday, after the 51-year-old man came to claim the package, which contained a monkey’s arm and the skeleton of a tropical hornbill.

CLICK HERE to see some of the stuffed animals

At his home and office, customs found more than 80 stuffed animals, skulls and bones; many of which are highly endangered species.

During the search, the investigators also found the vertebra of a whale and a stuffed falcon wearing an SS-cap.

Many of the animals were decorated with various ornaments, jewellery and paraphernalia, Ruth Haliti from the customs office in Hesse, told The Local. “A white spoonbill was wearing a rosary, some were holding dolls. So far we don't think the SS-cap had any serious connotations,” she said.

The rooms looked like a private museum, said Eva Leinkenjost, the leading investigator on the case. “Many of my colleagues involved said they had never seen anything like it,” she said.

Volker Grün, a biologist at the Duisburg Zoo, is helping the investigators with the case. “The worst thing was the sheer bad taste of some of the pieces,” he said. The shocked biologist said many of the animals had been prepared amateurishly.

Story continues below…

Under the Federal Native Conservation Act, the sentence for the illegal possession and trade of highly endangered species and plants can carry five years in jail.

Evidence of commercial trade has so far not been detected in the case. “What we currently do know, is that the man was a passionate collector”, said Leinkenjost.

The stuffed animals will be exhibited at zoos and universities when the case ends, said biologist Volker Grün.

SEE ALSO: Man smuggles 90 exotic animals in suitcasse

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd