Scales turn against bob­tail ‘pro­tec­tor’

North Coast Times - - NEWS - Mark Don­ald­son

A MAN who claimed he was keep­ing two bob­tail lizards safe from his dog in an en­clo­sure in his Clark­son home has been fined hun­dreds of dol­lars for his rep­tile refuge.

Hum­berto Re­nato Lopez Valdeben­ito pleaded guilty to un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of pro­tected fauna when he faced court on Au­gust 24 via video link, hav­ing been im­pris­oned on other mat­ters.

The po­lice pros­e­cu­tor told the court that of­fi­cers were search­ing the of­fender’s home on a sep­a­rate case when they dis­cov­ered the lizards be­ing kept in a “na­ture en­clo­sure” in a shelv­ing unit with a lamp.

Duty lawyer Andrew Parker said Lopez Valdeben­ito had found the bob­tails “bailed up” by his dog in his back­yard.

He said he did not in­tend to keep them as pets but did not want to re­lease them in case his dog at­tacked them.

Mr Parker said Lopez Valdeben­ito con­ceded he should have called wildlife of­fi­cers to deal with them in­stead of tak­ing them in­side.

Mag­is­trate Gre­gory Benn fined the man $400 and or­dered $205.30 court costs.

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