Singapore: ICA seizes 5 leopard geckos at Woodlands Checkpoint
A representational image of a male Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko Reuters

Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) have seized five leopard geckos from a Singapore-registered car at Woodlands Checkpoint last Friday. According to reports, they were found hidden inside pillows at the rear passenger seat.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a joint news release on Tuesday that a 51-year-old Singaporean man was driving the car along with a 32-year-old Singaporean female passenger.

The authorities directed them for further checks shortly before 4 pm and the five live geckos were discovered during inspection. The case has been referred to the AVA that is investigating the matter.

The authorities warned that keeping wild animals such as exotic amphibians, snakes and lizards are strictly not allowed in Singapore. "Wild animals are not suitable pets as some may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled, or if they escape into our dense urban environment," the release said.

It also added that wild animals that are non-native to Singapore may also be a threat to the bio-diversity if released into the environment.

If convicted of importing animals or live birds without an AVA permit, one can be fined a maximum of S$10,000, jailed up to one year, or both.