Two German nationals were arrested in South Africa for catching endangered reptiles including armadillo lizards with the intention of selling them illegally, the environment ministry said on Sunday.
The pair were arrested Friday near Askham, in Northern Cape province close to the borders with Botswana and Namibia on the edge of the Kalahari desert, the ministry said in a statement.
The men were also carrying illegal drugs, it said.
It said the German duo intended to smuggle armadillo lizards, geckos and tortoises "out of South Africa into the lucrative international exotic pet trade".
Their arrest was the result of a joint operation by several police forces, national parks and environment officials, the statement said.