'Woman caught smuggling 130 poisonous 'jewels of the rainforest' frogs worth $130,000 in her luggage from Bogota to Brazil'
When customs officers discovered her illicit items, she was intercepted while flying from El Dorado to São Paulo, Brazil, via Panama. An astonishing 130 poisonous frogs were hidden in film containers in her baggage.
Smuggling poisonous frogs
"This endangered species is highly desirable in international markets," stated Bogota's police commander, Juan Carlos Arevalo, as quoted by AFP. "Private collectors could pay over $1,000 per frog."
The frogs were found dehydrated and in poor condition. As it was revealed later, they originated from Nariño, a state in western Colombia. The woman alleged that the local community had gifted the frogs to her.
The accused will face charges for the illegal exploitation of natural resources. The potential penalty for this crime ranges from five to 12 months in prison, and she could be fined up to 56 billion pesos.
The tiny endangered tree frogs, native to the rainforests of Central and South America, are often referred to as the "jewels of the rainforest."
These frogs flaunt various color combinations, including red and black, yellow and green, orange and silver, blue and yellow, green and black, and pink and silver. Their vivid colors warn predators about their toxic skin - consuming these frogs could lead to swelling, muscle paralysis, and even death.
These creatures are named "dart frogs" because the Chocó people, residents of western Colombia, utilize their poison to tip their hunting arrows. A tiny droplet of this venom can kill birds and small mammals.
The most toxic member of the tree frog family is the yellow leaf frog, whose venom is lethal enough to kill twenty humans or about ten thousand mice.
Source: CBS News