Florida agency: Flying squirrels illegally shipped to Asia

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Flying squirrel (Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

TALLAHASSEE, FL (AP) — A Florida wildlife protection agency says it has broken up a trafficking ring that illegally trapped squirrels and shipped them to Asia.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Monday that seven people are charged in the operation. The agency said once trapped, the squirrels were driven to Chicago and then flown to South Korea.

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The agency said as many as 3,600 squirrels were poached and the international retail value of the animals is more than $1 million.

The agency said poachers also illegally shipped protected freshwater turtles and alligators to California.