Woman in trouble for stuffed animal collection

A San Jose woman has apparently been breaking the law without even realizing it.

Authorities say some of the critters in her taxidermy animal collection are considered endangered.

It's obvious Dora Zepeda loves animals. As soon as you walk into her San Jose home, her living room is full of more than 50 stuffed animals...

She has a bobcat, iguana, snake, even an African lion.

Bizarre for some - but not to her.

"I love it. I don't think it's nothing bad because I didn't kill these animals. I love it," Zepeda said.

It's an eclectic collection she started nine and half years ago. All the animals she bought off eBay, from all over the world.

Problem is some of them are illegal to own in California.

Last year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife got a tip from wildlife officers in France that Zepeda had tried to buy a protected species of owl online.

Officers then discovered Zepeda owned several endangered species of birds, and confiscated them.

"When you have a person who is intentionally going out and killing these animals or supporting killing of these animals, that are already protected, you are contributing to their demise," said Patrick Foy with California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

An apologetic and tearful Zepeda says she didn't know it was illegal. It's caused a lot of frustration and stress. "I never had a trouble in my life. I need to work every day at five in the morning - and later I need to work for 300 hours more, so it's hard," she said.

She's hoping others will learn from her mistake, as she no longer plans to buy animals from eBay.

She also wants the online sales service to better explain and better regulate what's legal and what's not.

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