Finland: Dead flying squirrel put up for sale

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

image copyrightWikipedia/Tokumi
image captionSiberian flying squirrels are a protected species in Finland, even when they're no longer alive

A Finnish man has attempted to sell a dead Siberian flying squirrel by advertising it on a supermarket bulletin board, it's reported.

The squirrel - which is a protected species - was on sale for 60 euros ($70; £45) in the city of Kuopio, central Finland, the Savon Sanomat newspaper website reports. The man says a cat deposited the squirrel outside his house one night, but that he thinks it died of natural causes. "It was dead but in perfect condition. It had been frozen for a few months," he tells the paper. "Then I read on the internet that they can fetch 250 to 300 euros when stuffed."

The Siberian flying squirrel, which glides between trees using a flap of skin connecting its front and back legs, is protected by strict conservation laws in Finland and was put on the country's endangered species list in 2010. "The law prohibits selling and exchanging a dead protected animal without special permission," Det Ch Insp Markus Taskinen tells the paper, adding that if one is found it should be handed over to a science museum for research purposes. The man tells Savon Sanomat he'd be happy to hand the animal over to a museum - in exchange for "a few euros".

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