Written by By Staff Writer
Special to CNN
More than 360 tarantulas have been seized from a truck in northern Colombia as they were headed to Germany.
According to El Tiempo newspaper, customs officials came across the shipment on Friday while conducting inspections of a truck at a checkpoint on the border with Ecuador.
The spiders are described as the longest in the world.
The lot reportedly included, “several medium-sized, single and two pairs of short-snouted arachnids weighing less than a kilogram, labeled as mass-produced ants in Germany.”
The tarantulas weigh up to 10 grams each and measure between 2 and 3 centimeters. They had reportedly been imported from Peru and Peru.
In a statement, Colombia’s Defense Ministry estimated that the new tarantulas would have fetched as much as $30,000 each before tax and auction.
“The numbers of spider species have fallen over the past years because the species have become scarce or lost their species, so each one has been separated and multiplied, making them large-scale and therefore of very high value,” customs officials said.
They added that it was a crime to knowingly transport “tortilantes” or tortoises.
The customs inspectors said the illegal consignment faced court trial in the Colombian capital of Bogota but no charges had been filed yet.