An Armadillo girdled lizard. Photo: CapeNature

Cape Town - Police have arrested a man for being in possession of protected wildlife worth over R700 000 at Nuwerus, just off the N7 north of Cape Town, Western Cape police said on Sunday.

Continuous vehicle checkpoints to boost safety during the festive season paid off on Friday afternoon at about 3.30pm during a stop-and-search operation, Captain FC van Wyk said.

Vredendal South African Police Service (SAPS) officers pursued a car which sped away from a checkpoint. After a high-speed chase, the car was eventually stopped at Bitterfontein, Nuwerus, near the border of the Northern Cape.

The man was arrested and upon searching his car police found 48 armadillo girdled lizards, a protected species, worth about R720,000. The 49-year-old man was due to appear in the Klawer Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of possession of protected wildlife.

"Police management applauded the officers on a job well done. We will not allow criminals to strip the wildlife of the Western Cape, and we will continue with operations to prevent the further depletion of our wildlife. The illegal trade in wildlife is high on the agenda of SAPS in the Western Cape in their quest to reduce crime," Van Wyk said.
African News Agency