24-year-old Aaron Halstead is facing possible jail time after being caught for trading animal trophies over the Internet.
The self-proclaimed taxidermist apparently owns a business that “specializes in restoring and trading in antique big cats.”
Halstead got into trouble after he used social media to post pictures with body parts of various animals, some of which were with rare species from around the world.
He posed with the head of a lion, wearing a leopard-skin coat, driving with a dead zebra in his car and even with a sea turtle shell on his back.
However, soon the police in Holland got suspicious of his activities and contacted the police in Lancashire, United Kingdom. After much investigation, the authorities raided his family home in Burnley only to find a house filled with stuffed animals — most of which were legally obtained. Yet, a few items, such as sperm whale teeth and cheetah and dolphin skulls also turned up and police say Halstead acquired them illegally.
Halstead claims to be an animal lover and supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, and thus operates a business where he indulges in trading endangered and antique preserved animals and skins.
Interestingly, this is not the first time he has gotten into trouble for something like this. In 2011, he received police caution for selling stuffed birds belonging to endangered species.
Andy McWilliam from the national wildlife crime unit, said: “Aaron Halstead is not a taxidermist, he is a trader.”
The case is currently in the Burnley crown court and has been adjourned until December after Judge Beverley Lunt granted Halstead unconditional bail.