Over 8,000 pig-nosed turtles rescued in Indonesia

Jan 10, 2014
A customs official is seen holding two baby pig-nosed turtles, in Tangerang, Banten province, on January 9, 2014

Indonesian officials said on Friday they have rescued more than 8,000 baby pig-nosed turtles hidden in suitcases and thought to be destined for China and Singapore.

A total of 2,968 were discovered in four suitcases at the airport serving the capital Jakarta after arriving from the remote eastern Papua region, said Zaenal Abidi, quarantine official.

"The suitcases were full of plastic boxes holding 15 to 20 turtles each. Sadly, 14 of them were dead on arrival," he said.

Airport officials were asked Thursday to be on the look-out for pig-nosed turtles—classified as vulnerable—after 5,400 of the creatures were discovered in seven suitcases in Papua, he said.

Abidi said that pig-nosed turtles smuggled through Jakarta are usually sent to Singapore or China, where they are sold as exotic pets and sometimes end up in .

All the turtles would be returned to their in Papua, Abidi said.

He added that police knew who had checked in the luggage but their whereabouts were now unknown.

The pig-nosed turtle is only found in Australia and New Guinea, an island shared between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, and is protected under Indonesian conservation laws.

It has a distinctive snout-like nose and webbed feet.

A baby pig-nosed turtle is pictured in Hong Kong, on October 4, 2011

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the pig-nosed turtle as vulnerable and trade of the species is restricted.

Explore further: Wood bison make it to Alaska village; April release planned

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Almost 500 protected turtles found in Thai airport bags

Nov 07, 2013

Thai customs have found over a thousand turtles and tortoises in airport luggage in a week, including a haul of 470 creatures Friday as conservationists warn of "skyrocketing" smuggling for the pet trade.

Hong Kong to return rare Philippine turtles

Apr 25, 2012

Thirty-six live turtles seized from a smuggler, including 20 of one of the world's rarest species, are to be returned from Hong Kong to the Philippines, officials said on Wednesday.

Rare turtles returned to the Philippines

Apr 27, 2012

Thirty-one live turtles, including some rare species, that were smuggled to Hong Kong were flown back to the Philippines on Friday but five others did not live to make the trip, an official said.

Recommended for you

China starts relocating endangered porpoises: Xinhua

32 minutes ago

Chinese authorities on Friday began relocating the country's rare finless porpoise population in a bid to revive a species threatened by pollution, overfishing and heavy traffic in their Yangtze River habitat, ...

Predicting pesticide loads more accurately

5 hours ago

The EU wants to further improve the authorization process for plant protection products. The different national procedures for this are supposed to be further harmonized. Fraunhofer researchers have developed ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.