A 43-YEAR-OLD Bendigo man has been convicted and fined $300 at the Bendigo Magistrates court for the illegal possession of two adolescent Carpet pythons (Moriela spilota).
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) forest and wildlife officer Georgia de Salis said police arrested the man on unrelated charges in February 2017 and found the pythons in his possession.
“The police called DELWP to handle the wildlife matter,” Ms de Salis said.
“Further investigation found the two snakes had been stolen from an Echuca pet shop earlier that month,” she said.
“The pet shop owner identified the snakes as the same ones that had been stolen.
“And the pythons were returned to the pet shop the same day as the arrest.
“It is believed the man did not steal the pythons from the pet shop but had traded contraband for the snakes.
“The matter went to court three times but the accused failed to appear so the Magistrate issued an arrest warrant. He was fined and convicted on the fourth court date.”
Carpet pythons are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. A wildlife licence is required to possess, keep and trade Carpet pythons.
If you see anything suspicious involving native wildlife, you can report it to DELWP on 136 186.
All calls are kept confidential.