Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rare Tortoises Found in Luggage

I've finally started getting email updates from Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Here is one of their stories about tortoises being smuggled in luggage....note the drug connection.

Enforcement agencies discovered 300 tortoises from Madagascar bound and packed in two suitcases that also contained drugs at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last week.

The bags contained 285 Radiated Tortoises Astrochelys radiata, 14 Spider Tortoises Pyxis arachnoides and a single Ploughshare Tortoise Astrochelys yniphora, one of the rarest tortoise species in the world.

The tortoise- and drug-filled bags had come in on 1 June on an Air Mauritius flight and were discovered by Customs officers at the airport.

The tortoises, all still alive, have been handed over to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) which is making arrangements for their return to Madagascar, news reports said.

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