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Florida Officials Bust Million-Dollar Flying Squirrel Trafficking Ring

Florida Wildlife Officials Bust Million-Dollar Flying Squirrel Trafficking Ring

3,600 smuggled flying squirrels = 7 arrests

Thousands of wild southern flying squirrels have been stolen from the Sunshine State then shipped to a South Korean buyer. The investigation started when we received an anonymous call with a tip and ended with seven arrests and 25 total charges and is now being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

Southern flying squirrels are usually found in areas containing mature hardwood trees throughout much of our state. They are active only at night and have a special membrane between their front and back legs that allows them to glide from tree to tree. Up to 10,000 traps were used to catch the squirrels and over 3,600 were shipped overseas to be sold as exotic pets for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Thanks to multiple state and federal agencies partnering with us on this case: Georgia DNR, Illinois DNR and Homeland Security Investigations.

Suspect a crime against Florida’s fish, wildlife or natural resources? See an injured animal? Call 888-404-FWCC (3922).

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