FIFO miner caught with illegal reptiles

A Pilbara FIFO miner has been fined nearly $4000 after been caught with four native snakes and a skink.

James El-Saj was arrested at Perth Airport last year after two Stimson’s pythons and a broad banded sand swimmer skink were found upon his arrival on a flight from Newman, The West Australian reports.

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) officers then found an additional Stimson’s python and pygmy python at the miner’s house.

El-Saj was charged with unlawful possession of the pygmy python and skink, as well as illegally keeping the Stimson’s pythons.

According to the DEC, the miner claimed to have taken the skink from his workplace and acquired the snakes from an online seller.

"These animals are protected species in WA and it is illegal to take protected fauna from the wild without a licence," DEC wildlife officer Matthew Swan said.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.