A man today admitted trading a menagerie of exotic animals which were found in his freezer – including a penguin and a monkey.
Married father Alan Dudley, 52, stored a range of dead animals in his garage and freezer at his semi-detached home in Coventry, West Mids.
Police raided the chiller and found it contained the bodies of a penguin, a rare owl buzzard as well as a Marmoset and howler monkey.
Officers also found the skulls of an Australian Fur Seal and Loggerhead Turtle.
At Coventry Crown Court Dudley pleaded guilty to seven counts of owning, importing or trading in endangered animals.
Defending Dudley, Nigel Williams admitted his client had an ”unusual hobby” but denied he owned the endangered animals and remains for financial gain.
He said: ”Alan Dudley may have had an unusual interest in taxidermy and zoology but it is something he has followed all his life. He did not import these animals for profit.
”I know Mr Dudley has references from educational departments and zoos in relation to the service he has done with his hobby.”
Dudley was first arrested in February 2008 at his home in Coventry following the raid by West Midlands police and customs and excise investigators.
He was initially charged with ten offences of breaching the Customs and Excise Management Act and the Control and Trade in Endangered Species Regulations 1997 relating to the illegal trade in endangered animals.
Yesterday at Coventry Crown Court he admitted seven charges but denied two counts of importing the skulls of a chimpanzee and fur seal.
He also keeping for sale a tiger, four cotton topped tamarin monkeys and three Goeldi’s Marmosets, one sparrowhawk, two ruffed lemurs, three buzzards and two tawny owls.
These pleas were accepted by the Crown and the charges were dropped.
Judge Peter Ross, said: ”The crown accepts this was not done for commercial purposes.”
Bespectacled Dudley, who a black suit and grey tie, was granted unconditional bail until sentencing on August 20.