Rare plants disguised as toys and mushrooms are being smuggled out of South Africa, with traffickers using clever tactics to evade detection.

At Cape Town’s airport, officials discovered cardboard boxes labeled as toys destined for China, only to find endangered succulent plants carefully wrapped inside.

This smuggling operation, aimed at meeting the growing demand for exotic plants in markets like East Asia, threatens biodiversity in regions like the Succulent Karoo.

Authorities have seized over one million succulents since 2019, highlighting the challenges in combating wildlife trafficking through postal and courier services.

Wildlife trade experts emphasize the need for enhanced international cooperation to tackle these evolving smuggling methods effectively.

Credit : BBC


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