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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review
/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Smuggled Chameleons Nursed Back to Health

April 13, 1999

CULVER CITY — Two hundred Jackson chameleons smuggled into the United States illegally were nursed back to health at a Culver City wildlife sanctuary, authorities said Monday.

"These chameleons were smuggled in burlap bags and the majority died in transfer," said Katiana Bozzi of the Star Exploration Station and Children's Museum.

The Jackson, a common pet variety of chameleon, is native to Tanzania but has been successfully bred around the world. Federal agents, who confiscated the illegal shipment more than a month ago, declined Monday to release details of the seizure.

"[We were] called in by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency . . . [and] the rescued chameleons received the care and love of the staff and volunteers," Bozzi said.

She said the chameleons were given food, water and shelter, and the facility's museum has added a baby ward for newborn lizards.

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