File this under “bizarre,” “silly,” or “just plain stupid”: A German man, Hans Kurt Kubus, 58, was caught attempting to smuggle 44 lizards out of New Zealand, and will now face roughly three months in jail and pay a $5,000 fine, according to the BBC. Apparently, the man sewed pouches into his underwear for the express purpose of smuggling the reptiles.
The real problem—aside from the obvious: who would smuggle 44 lizards?—is that the reptiles, a mix of geckos and skinks, are endangered species and protected by New Zealand law. The BBC reports that the lizards are profitable as well, selling for as much as $2,000. For his part, Kubus pleaded guilty and said the lizards were for his personal collection, not for sale. (Sure.)
Actually, let me rephrase that: That’s the real problem for the smuggler. The actual real problem is that these are innocent wild creatures that certainly didn’t deserve to be stuffed into someone’s underpants for who-knows how long. New Zealand Department of Conservation prosecutor Mike Bodie called the failed theft “the most serious case of its kind detected in New Zealand for a decade or more.”
I call it a bad idea that will spawn even worse jokes on late night television.