The Facebook sale of a wallaby joey for up to $10,000 has been thwarted after the wallaby was rescued from a Broome carpark.
Officers of the Department of Parks and Wildlife and WA Police swooped after an online sting operation.
The animal was seized after a wildlife officer posed as a potential buyer during a plain clothes operation last week.
Wildlife officer Peter Carstairs said a 26-year-old man from the Northern Territory would be charged with offences including possession, importation and selling of protected wildlife.
“It is illegal to sell or possess any part of a native animal in Western Australia unless you have a wildlife licence,” Mr Carstairs said.
“In this instance, a man imported a wallaby joey from the Northern Territory into WA and attempted to sell it on Facebook.
“It was advertised for $3,500 but we understand there was an offer of up to $10,000 from a buyer visiting from overseas.
“There is a black market trade in Australian wildlife and it is a practice that must be stopped.”
Mr Carstairs said local residents concerned about the man’s actions had complained to the department, which led to the wallaby seizure.
“The community outrage generated by this incident shows that people really care about protecting our native wildlife,” he said.
The man could be charged with up to five offences under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, with penalties of up to $4,000 for some charges.
People with information about the illegal importation, possession or sale of native wildlife are asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, the Department of Parks and Wildlife on 9219 9000 or the department’s Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.