Scales turn against bobtail ‘protector’
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.