15 March 2024

Seizure of 40 Lanthanotus borneensis in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo)

On March 9, 2024, a seizure of 40 individuals of Lanthanotus borneensis in Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) has been reported. After their protection status was confirmed by the relevant authorities, the person in charge was arrested. The animals were to be sold in Semarang, Central Java.  After the animals have undergone health checks, rehabilitation, and acclimatization measures, they will be released into their natural habitat. However, the news report does not indicate whether the actual location where the animals were captured was known.

26 February 2023

Seizure of two Lanthanotus borneensis in Vietnam

Among various other protected vertebrates, two specimens of the earless (monitor) lizard were confiscated in Hung Dao commune in Cao Bang city, Cao Bang province, Vietnam –  the first time in Vietnam.

“First Seizure of Trafficked Earless Monitor Lizards (Lanthanotus borneensis) in Vietnam with Additional Notes on Illegal Trade” Photograph by the Vietnam National Museum of Nature. > see

27 April 2022

10 Earless Lizards To Be Smuggled into Medan, Disguised in Cake Packages

PONTIANAK, – The smuggling of 10 earless lizards from Pontianak (West Kalimantan) was successfully thwarted. Kalimantan endemic animals are disguised in cardboard containing snacks. The cardboard is to be sent to Medan, North Sumatra through the Borneo Trans Mandiri (BTM) regulated agent services. But officers found irregularities when checking the contents of the cardboard that read the pastry using X-ray.

The West Kalimantan police arrest narcotics dealer in Pontianak, ….”It says food but after x-ray the contents are different,” said Rian Endra, the BTM officer who carried out the inspection, Tuesday (26/4/2022). The shipment of these rare animals was reported to the West Kalimantan BKSDA. The BKSDA Airport Post, Uswatun Khasana said, earless monitor lizards are endemic animals that can only be found on the island of Borneo. These animals are included in protected animals. “We have checked, it is true that it is a monitor lizard without ears,” said Uswatun.

This article has been published on with the title “10 Earless Monitor Lizards to be Smuggled into Medan, disguised in Cake Packages”, Click to read: -no-ears-to-be-smuggled-into-the-field-disguised-in-a-cake-packs.

Ten earless monitor lizards were to be smuggled into Medan, North Sumatra through delivery services. © Yuniar.

7th February 2022

Illegal water monitor, macaque farm raided in Thailand

Source (text, images):

PICHIT: Police and wildlife officials raided a property illegally farming water monitors and macaques and found many giant lizards tied-up and readied for export.

Officials searched Khemawat Farm in Moo 9 village of tambon Noen Por of Sam Ngam district on Sunday and busted the illegal operation.

Pol Maj Gen Mana Kleepsatbut, commander of the National Resources and Environmental Crime Division, said on Monday the property was formerly a pig farm. But on Sunday they found macaques and water monitors being raised there for sale. Both are protected animals.

Farm attendants Wang Jahan and Anant Sripha initially tried to stall police, locking the farm gate and freeing some animals from their cages. Some animals fled the farm. Officials forced their way in and found 61 macaques and water monitors left.

Some of the lizards were tied up and in mesh bags, apparently ready for transport. Officials also found a blowpipe and tranquiliser darts at the place, which belonged to 73-year-old Sam Ngam native Lee Thiangyoo.

The seized animals were sent to a wild animal breeding centre in Uthai Thani.

Pol Maj Gen Mana said the farm owner was suspected of exporting the animals to Cambodia for onward sale to wildlife food restaurants in Vietnam and China.

The raid followed the earlier interception of captive monkeys on the way to the Cambodian border.

“Police raid a property and find packaged water monitors being illegally farmed and sold in Sam Ngam district, Phichit province, on Sunday. (Photos supplied)” (Source for text & photos: