A woman was arrested at an airport in Colombia with 130 endangered poison dart frogs worth $130,000.

A Brazilian woman was arrested at Bogota, Colombia, airport on Monday for trying to smuggle 130 poisonous frogs out of the country, officials said.

The Colombian Ministry of Environment said in a press release that the woman was leaving El Dorado International Airport on her way to Sao Paulo, Brazil, via Panama when authorities arrested her.

After searching her luggage, authorities found poison frogs hidden in film packages.

“These endangered species are in demand in international markets,” Bogota Police Chief Juan Carlos Arevalo said. Arevalo added that private collectors may pay up to $1,000 each, AFP reported.

La Secretaría District of Ambiente de Bogotá / SDA Communications


The frogs, which were found to be dehydrated and in distress, came from Nariño state in western Colombia. The woman claimed the items were given to her as a gift from the local community, Environment Minister Adriana Soto said in the press release.

The woman will be prosecuted for illegal use of natural resources, which is punishable by five to 12 months in prison and fines of up to 56 billion pesos (about $14.2 million).

The endangered tadpoles, which live in the rainforests of Central and South America, are known as the “gems of the rainforest,” according to the San Diego Zoo.

They can be found in a range of color combinations, including red, black, yellow, green, orange, silver, blue, yellow, green, black, pink, and silver. Their bright colors serve to warn predators of their toxic skin – eating the frogs can cause swelling, muscle paralysis and even death.

They are called poison frogs because the Chocó people of western Colombia use poison to coat the tips of the arrow tips they use for hunting, the San Diego Zoo says. A small drop can kill birds and small mammals.

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