Friday, 2 February, 2001, 18:35 GMT
Tourist smuggled geckos in pants.
A German reptile collector has been fined US$5,300 for attempting to smuggle lizards out
of New Zealand in his pants.
Customs intercepted Jorg Kreutz, 38, trying to leave the country with two green
in his underwear, according to Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle.
The geckos, a male and pregnant female, were seized alive, but the female has
died, according to the Associated Press.
Officials said Mr Kreutz, a shop assistant from Frankfurt-Am-Main, was the first
convicted for trying to export protected reptiles since the recent revision of the Wildlife
Act to allow for tougher penalties.
"The stiff fine given to Kreutz highlights the court's willingness to impose
greater penalties on offenders," Conservation Minister Sandra Lee said.