The Internal Revenue Service auctioned off 21 lots of exotic animals, including tarantulas, pythons, wallabies and chinchillas, after seizing the assets of a group called the Living Science Foundation that fell behind in its tax payments.

The animals were bought by sanctuaries as well as private buyers, according to
The Michigan Humane Society and the Humane Society of the United States wrote a letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Linda Stiff asking her to delay the auction until the health and safety of the animals could be assessed, according to the Detroit News.

When the IRS went ahead with the auction anyway, the two groups sent observers to monitor the proceedings.

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