1500 exotic turtles, 3 of which were reported vulnerable were found duct-taped and stuffed in suitcases at the Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines, recently.
They were discovered in unclaimed luggage which boarded the plane from Hong Kong.
The total worth of the turtles, including three rarest of rare ones, is estimated to be 4.5 million Philippine pesos ($87,000). The Bureau of Customs, Philippines said that the packages were probably being smuggled to be sold.
Three of them: the star, red foot, and African spurred tortoises, are categorized as vulnerable species by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
They explained that they are frequently subjected to the illegal exotic pet trade. While the fourth species, Red-Eared Slider Turtle is commonly kept as a pet at homes.
Even though the exotic and wild turtles are protected by law all across the world, there is an illegal trade market of turtles in Hong Kong where finding them is quite easy.
Hong Kong, as well as Philippines governments, have laws against unlawful turtle trade and defaulters are charged with penalties, both financial and serving a jail sentence.
The strict laws in the Philippines against the illicit trade of turtles is probably the reason why the passenger abandoned the luggage.
The Philippine Bureau of Customs agency said, “The passenger may have been informed of the vigilance of Bureau of Customs against illegal wildlife trade and its penalties,”
Well, this is not the first time that the agency has caught exotic animals smuggled in the luggage. The parcels, luggage, and shipments were discovered carrying up to 560 exotic species last year.
To be precise, the haul included 254 corals, 250 geckos, and other exotic and rare reptiles according to the agency.
Moreover, the agency added that “Earlier this year, 63 Iguanas, Chameleon and Bearded Dragons were also intercepted through the efforts of vigilant frontlinersand operatives of Customs.”
The Philippines is the home to several species which are rare and confined to this tropical region. Therefore, people try to smuggle these animals for making huge profits at the cost of natural habitat for these animals.
Share this post with your friends and family.
Recommended Video – “King Cobra Spits Out Nine Chicken Eggs After It Was Caught By A Snake Charmer In A Village In India”
If you liked this post, we would love to hear from you:)