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: Gardening's new ethos: Help the planet (and look good too)

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

Scientists say polar bears won't thrive on land food

7 hours ago

A group of researchers say polar bears forced off melting sea ice will not find enough food to replace their current diet of fat-laden marine mammals such as seals, a conclusion that contradicts studies indicating ...

Emu movements chronicled in seed dispersal project

9 hours ago

GPS technology attached to emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) has reinforced the role the world's second largest extant bird plays in dispersing seeds in the environment as well as indicate they have started ...

Pests are easier to combat in habitats rich in species

9 hours ago

A diverse and species-rich agricultural landscape is also beneficial to farmers. This isn't just because there are plenty of pollinating insects, creepy crawly pest controllers and other useful helpers. Scientists ...

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.