Malaysia seizes endangered Madagascan tortoises

Jun 14, 2010
File photo shows a type of Galapagos tortoise. Malaysian authorities said Monday they had seized hundreds of critically endangered live Madagascan tortoises bound for pet shops.

Malaysian authorities said Monday they had seized hundreds of critically endangered live tortoises bound for pet shops.

The 300 spider and radiated tortoises were discovered at Kuala Lumpur's international airport last week after being flown in from Madagascar, Malaysia's wildlife and national parks department deputy chief Misliah Mohamad Basir told AFP.

The were packed among shredded paper in two suitcases and were found by customs officials who spotted movement in one of the bags.

"Nobody came to collect the luggage and upon inspection by custom officials, they found the live tortoises," Misliah said.

"The luggage was destined for Kuala Lumpur," she said, adding she believed the tortoises were to be sold to pet shops. No one has been arrested so far.

The Madagascan spider and radiated tortoises are classified as critically endangered under the UN's Convention on International Trade in (CITES). Both are hunted for their meat and for the exotic .

Despite efforts by Southeast Asian authorities to crack down on illegal animal smuggling and trade, the practice still persists in the region, posing a threat to several species, anti-trafficking activists say.

Explore further: 22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Malaysian authorities rescue 130 pangolins

Dec 20, 2009

Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the protected species, destined to be sold to restaurants and medicine shops.

Study: Wildlife trade figures unreliable

Nov 04, 2005

Wildlife trade reported by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora reportedly differs from government figures.

Recommended for you

22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

10 hours ago

Poachers slaughtered 22 elephants in Mozambique in the first two weeks of September, environmentalists said Monday, warning that killing for ivory by organised syndicates was being carried out on an "industrialised" ...

Pakistan releases smuggled turtles into the wild

15 hours ago

Pakistani officials and environmentalists on Monday released some 200 rare turtles into the River Indus after the reptiles were retrieved from a southwestern Chinese town where they were seized by customs ...

Big science from small insects

20 hours ago

Anniversaries are often a time to look back. But after taking stock of the past, it can be just as important to look to the future.

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

Sep 19, 2014

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

User comments : 0