Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 17 April 2009 - Wildlife and National Parks department officers chased down and stopped a lorry carrying 1,202 clouded monitor lizards along a highway in the state of Pahang, Malaysia on Wednesday.
The officers from Pahang, joined by their counterparts from the department’s Wildlife Crime Unit in Kuala Lumpur, gave chase when a five-tonne lorry they flagged down near a rubber estate, refused to stop. The officers discovered the live lizards tied in bags and stacked at the back of the lorry. Initial investigations revealed the lorry driver and two assistants had come from the southern state of Johor to buy the lizards from indigenous people who caught them in areas along the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia.
The clouded monitor lizard which is totally protected under Malaysian law is in high demand for its meat.