SINGAPORE: Six live tarantulas were found in a Singapore-registered car during recent checks at Tuas Checkpoint, according to a joint release on Thursday (Jan 11).
The car, which was being driven by a Singaporean man, stopped for an inspection at the checkpoint at around 2pm on Jan 4, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).
An ICA officer found the spiders in a sling bag placed on the rear passenger seat, kept individually in plastic containers.
The case was then referred to the AVA, who conducted follow-up checks at the 33-year-old man's home and seized 92 more tarantulas.
"Tarantulas are not approved to be kept as pets in Singapore," the release said, adding that certain species are also protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna or Flaura and require permits.
"The case is currently under investigation and the tarantulas are being cared for by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore," the news release stated.
Authorities also reminded travellers "not to import or keep wild animals as pets as demand for such animals would fuel illegal wildlife trade".
"Wildlife are not suitable pets as some may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and pose a public safety risk if mishandled or if they escape into our dense urban environment. Non-native animals may also be a threat to our biodiversity if released into the environment," they added.