A SKULL of a critically endangered crocodile has been seized from a home in Leamington after being bought online.
A woman purchased the Siamese crocodile skull on Ebay from a trader in China without realising she was breaking the law.
It was imported into the UK despite being protected under the Control Of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations.
The skull will now be used to educate Warwickshire residents about protecting endangered species.
PC Andy Timmins said: “The woman was horrified at the realisation she had acquired such an endangered artefact and had no idea about the implications of her purchase.
“After speaking to her we were satisfied this was an honest mistake, so she was given advice and a warning.
“Please let this be a warning to others buying items like this online. If you’re in any doubt about what you are purchasing, please make sure you do the necessary checks online first.
“Seizures like this one are not only important to help stop illegal trade, but are also an opportunity to educate the public about protecting endangered species.”
The Siamese crocodile is at risk of extinction and has already been disappeared from many of its native regions in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Under Control of Trade regulations it is an offence to sell, offer, transport, or purchase any endangered species or any item made from one, such as shoes and bags.
The illegal trade in endangered species is a huge international business, which makes profits for poachers, traffickers and traders. Most of the world’s threatened endangered species are killed to be made into products, which are then sold illegally abroad.