Thousands of Endangered Animals Rescued From Blackmarket Zoo

malaysia illegal zoo photo

Image credit: AP Photo
Authorities in Malaysia went looking for a cache of stolen cars but what they uncovered was much more surprising. Hidden in a warehouse in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur were cages upon cages holding thousands of individual animals from more than 20 endangered species.
birds of paradise photo

Among the animals were these rare birds of paradise, valued at more than $300,000. Image credit: AP Photo

The warehouse, described as a "mini zoo" by Kuala Lumpur Wildlife Department deputy director Celescoriano Razon, held thousands of birds, leopard cats, and albino pygmy monkeys, in addition to other species. Authorities said that the animals were likely being held to breed, or to sell.

"We thank the police for rescuing the animals," Razon said, "and will work closely with them to bring the criminals to justice."

malaysia illegal zoo photo

Image credit: AP Photo

In addition to the menagerie of endangered species, police seized 42 stolen cars from the premises. Two men were arrested at the scene but they are believed to be low-level criminals.

An investigation is currently underway to link the warehouse to a larger syndicate.

Read more about endangered species markets:
Environmental Criminals: Coming To A Market Near You
Chinese Zoo Accused of Letting 11 Rare Siberian Tigers Starve to Death
Is the Internet a Threat for Endangered Animals? Yes and No.

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