Man in court over collection of bear, lion, wolf body parts
A NORWOOD man's macabre menagerie of leopard, bear, lion, wolf, cheetah, orang-utan and deer pig body parts has landed him a hefty fine and a federal criminal conviction.
The Adelaide Magistrates Court has fined Terry Dalkos $4000 for multiple breaches of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.
Dalkos' conviction stems from a joint investigation by the federal Department of the Environment and Energy's Office of Compliance and Australian Museum experts.
He is the third person prosecuted under the international law in the past two years, following an aquarium owner and an aquaculture guru who smuggled exotic fish into Australia.
Huy Ca Truong and Kuok Weai Alex Chang received two-year, $1000 bonds for threatening the nation's biodiversity with their "complete disregard" for the animals.
Dalkos, 49, pleaded guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to nine counts of possessing and one count of importing animal specimens deemed illegal under CITES.
It is illegal to possess and import CITES-listed species without a permit, as Australia is a signatory to the Convention.
Dalkos faced a maximum sentence of 10 years' jail and a fine of up to $210,000.
In July 2016, federal officers raided his home and seized specimens of leopards, bears, lions, a gray wolf, a cheetah and an organgutan.
They also recovered the skull of a babirusa or "deer pig".
Australian Museum staff subsequently identified eight of the specimens as being listed under CITES.
Dalkos, meanwhile, admitted having sold other CITES-listed specimens including bears, a cheetah, lions, organgutans and primates.
In a statement, the department said the illegal wildlife trade was "worth billions globally, with thousands of endangered animals killed per year for profit".
"Wildlife trafficking is driving the decline of many species around the world," it said.
"The Australian Government is committed to protecting and conserving endangered plants and animals."