Beijing: Police in China`s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region have seized more than 3,600 smuggled crocodiles, saving them from being served as exotic dishes, official sources said.
Veterinarians are providing medical treatment to the endangered reptiles, with some having died from heatstroke during transportation, an official from the public security bureau of Chongzuo city said.
The Siamese crocodiles were seized in the city on Tuesday as their trucks crossed the China-Vietnam border. Smugglers intended to supply them to restaurants in neighbouring Guangdong province, the official said.
Siamese crocodiles, native to most Southeast Asian countries, are a critically endangered species. They are served as delicacies in some southern Chinese cities, creating an underground market of the reptiles, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted animal rights activists as saying.