Wiltshire

Crocodile skull 'ornament' seized by police in Chippenham

Siamese crocodile Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Wiltshire Police said he had bought it as an "unusual" house ornament and was surprised when officers contacted him

A man who bought a skull of a critically endangered crocodile on eBay has had it seized by police.

The man, in his 20s, from Chippenham, Wiltshire, paid a seller in China about £30 for the Siamese crocodile skull on the online auction site.

Wiltshire Police said the man bought it as an "unusual" house ornament and was surprised when they contacted him.

The force said it was an "honest mistake and an isolated incident" so no further criminal action had been taken.

The Siamese crocodile is protected under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (COTES) regulations.

PC Emily Thomas, from the police force's rural crime team, said the man "had no idea about the implications of his purchase",

Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption The Siamese crocodile is protected under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species regulations

"He thought as it was available to buy on eBay, there wasn't any issue," she said.

"It is really important that people check what they are purchasing before going ahead. This way you don't leave yourself liable to prosecution."

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