• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Passengers caught smuggling live eels on to Madrid plane
Stock photo of eels. Photo: AFP

Passengers caught smuggling live eels on to Madrid plane

Jessica Jones · 18 Jan 2016, 10:37

Published: 18 Jan 2016 10:37 GMT+01:00

The group of Chinese passengers were trying to smuggle the animals - which are an endangered species - out of Spain and back to China.

They were carrying the 48 live eels in 12 packages packed into four - specially chilled - suitcases.

The passengers were going to board a flight to Hong Kong when their luggage was searched by military personnel, reported Spanish daily ABC.

The animals were taken to the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) before being re-housed in Madrid’s Zoo-Aquarium on Wednesday, where they were awaiting special analysis by experts from Madrid’s Museum of Natural Sciences, who will investigate whether the eels are "common or European" - as is suspected.

The European eel is a critically endangered species; since the 1970s the number of eels reaching Europe has declined by as much as 90 percent.

It is not the first strange animal find of the week.

Only last week the environmental unit of Madrid’s police rescued a fox that had been found in the city’s Lycée Français. 

Story continues below…

Police suspect the fox found its way to the French school by hiding under a car or bus coming from the mountains outside of Madrid.

It was set free in the city’s Casa de Campo park after tests proved it was in good health.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Two workers in Spain fired for skipping work... for 15 years
Archive photo of man having a siesta. Photo: Jessica Jones

The men were municipal employees in the town of Jerez de la Frontera, southern Spain. And they hadn't done a day's work in 15 years.

Investigation into 'terrorism-praising' puppet show shelved
A file photo of puppets. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

Two puppeteers accused of 'glorifying terrorism' in a show for children have been cleared.

Michelle Obama and daughters arrive in Spain
Michelle Obama leaving Morocco to travel to Spain. Photo: AFP

The First Lady of the United States is visiting Madrid with her mother and two daughters.

Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
Photo: CAFNR/Flickr

From booking sunbeds to checking the jellyfish warnings, these apps will make your summer go a lot more smoothly.

Pamplona fights fiesta urine with walls that 'pee back'
Men queue up for a portable urinal. But not all bother to wait in line. Photo: Fiona Govan

It's 'pee-back' time in Pamplona as authorities get tough over public urination.

Brexit
Spanish PM opposes EU talks with Scotland after Brexit
Sturgeon met Junker in Brussels on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Mariano Rajoy said that Madrid would oppose Scotland having any role in talks between Britain and the European Union after the Brexit vote.

Brexit
Gibraltar 'in talks' with Scotland to remain in the EU
Gibraltar remains defiant in face of Spanish claims. Photo: AFP

Could Gibraltar team up with Scotland to remain in the EU after Brexit?

Catalonia ex-president faces trial over illegal 'referendum'
Artur Mas faces trial for his role in symbolic plebiscite. Photo: AFP

Artur Mas and two other officials are accused of overstepping authority by staging a mock independence referendum in November 2014 in defiance of a ban from Spain’s Constitutional Court.

Woman fined after 'stealing' her own dog from kennels
Photo: Patrick Theiner/Flickr

The woman in Mallorca took her dog without filling out the necessary paperwork.

Barcelona ups fine for illegal home-rentals to €600,000
Companies like Airbnb will now face fines of up to €600,000 for illegal lodgings. Photo: AFP

Barcelona has imposed a 20-fold hike in the maximum fine that can be given to home rental sites like Airbnb if they promote illegal accommodation.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
PP win most seats and PSOE cling on to second place
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
International
Brexit limbo: What happens next for expat Brits in Spain?
Politics
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
International
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
International
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Travel
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
National
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
International
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
National
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Politics
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
International
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
National
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Features
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
National
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Politics
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
National
Giant inflatable poo goes walkies from town square
Lifestyle
Spanish study proves fat really ISN'T bad for you
National
President Obama announces three-day visit to Spain in July
3,385
jobs available