Nearly a complete zoo of stuffed animals and ivory objects has been found in a mansion in Madrid. Some specimens are endangered species. The investigation into this case started exactly two years ago, in November 2019.
Two agents of the Madrid municipal police learned of the existence of a large collection of stuffed exotic animals. Some of these animals fall under the so-called CITES agreement. This international treaty includes rules to protect endangered species and curb the trade in these animals.
Largest hunting museum in the world
The police have not yet officially confirmed the name of the owner of the collection. However, from the published descriptions and photos it appears to be businessman and former chairman of Sanitas, Marcial Goméz Sequeira.
He would like to set up the largest hunting museum in the world in Olivenza (Badajoz) with his animal collection. The suspect has since been arrested on suspicion of illegal trade in endangered species. It concerns 49 different stuffed animal species including lynx, bears, crocodiles, monkeys, and a further 139 ivory tusks and horns.
Hunted with my own hands
In an October 2019 interview for El País newspaper, Goméz confirmed he had killed the animals with his own hands: “I couldn’t say how many animals I shot in the 48 years I’ve hunted around the world. There will be thousands, of which more than 420 are different animal species.”
The national police of the Environment Unit then started an investigation into a possible offense against flora and fauna and illegal animal trade. In doing so, it was first checked with the CITES authorities whether the animals are on the list of protected species. Moreover, it turned out to be not just a few, but a large number of animals that appeared on this list. In addition, the suspect did not have the necessary permits to possess and import the animals into national territory. However, according to the suspect, he had already obtained many of the copies before the implementation of the CITES agreement in Spain.