A shoddy practitioner of a forbidden art

A taxidermist specializing in wild animals was arrested yesterday in the Cretan town of Hania by police who seized hundreds of dead birds and beasts, including many endangered species, during a raid on his illicit workshop. Under a law dating to 1975, it is illegal to embalm and display dead animals, even on private premises. Police believe the man, whose name was not made public, received the beasts from poachers who wanted a stuffed trophy in their house. The taxidermist refused to reveal the provenance of his corpses. Among the 300 stuffed or partially embalmed birds and animals found in the workshop were hawks and falcons, vultures, cranes, owls, pelicans and swans, as well as a rare Cretan wild goat and a humble tortoise. Forestry officials who examined the stuffed beasts said that the taxidermy was mostly of a very poor quality.

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