Customs officers found no fewer than 90 reptiles in the luggage of a passenger at Vienna airport.
The 85 geckos, two snakes and two scorpions had a total retail value of 47,000 euros (51,400 U.S dollars), the Ministry of Finance reported on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old had flown from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to Vienna.
He was checked when he wanted to use the exit for travelers without goods to declare.
To their shock, the officials found an initially unmanageable amount of reptiles in three transport boxes, the ministry added.
The animals, none which were considered protected species, were handed over to Schönbrunn Zoo, some of them already in visibly poor health.
The man explained during his interrogation that the animals were worthless to him.
He had only taken the geckos to feed them to his snakes. (dpa/NAN)