An online trader from Fife who tried to sell endangered animal parts has been ordered to perform 250 hours of unpaid work.
Gary Whyte from Cowdenbeath was given a community payback order at Dunfermline Sheriff Court after he admitted putting tiger claws up for sale on eBay.
His auction was spotted by a police officer in the National Wildlife Crime Unit and a search of the 50-year-old’s home uncovered the items, which are protected by international law.
The Rosyth Dockyard worker had bought the claws at an auction room in Dunfermline for £28.75.
The lot had been described as “a small box of various fossils, claws and teeth”.
He put them up for sale on eBay and the selling price was sitting at £102 when police moved in and recovered them.
Speaking following Monday’s sentencing, wildlife crime officer, PC Lindsay Kerr, said: “Whyte stood to make a significant profit from the sale of these tiger claws, the sale of which is a contravention of endangered species legislation.
“As soon as Police Scotland became aware of the items being illegally offered for purchase online, a robust investigation was launched which resulted in Whyte being convicted in October.
“The sale of endangered animal parts will not be tolerated and anyone involved in such activities can expect to be dealt with by police.”
Whyte, of Anderson Drive, had admitted that between July 19 and 29, 2015, by using eBay he advertised for sale and sold a quantity of items described as tiger claws.
Depute fiscal Kate Fleming said 10 tiger claws had been put up for sale and six of these had been confirmed as genuine.
Whyte’s solicitor Peter Mullin said his client had bought the box for a work colleague whose granddaughter collected fossils.
He added his client usually traded online in motorcycle parts and was a regular visitor to the Dunfermline auction room.