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Smuggler caught with 10% of entire species

Posted on Sunday, 31 March, 2013 | Comment icon 10 comments | News tip by: ExpandMyMind

Image credit: CC 3.0 Hans Hillewaert

More than 10% of the world's population of ploughshare tortoises were found in the man's suitcase.

The botched smuggling attempt took place at an airport in Bangkok and included 54 of the critically endangered tortoises along with 21 similarly endangered radiated tortoises. With only 400 ploughshare tortoises thought to exist, the haul being smuggled through represented more than a tenth of their entire species. The smuggler had intended to sell the exotic creatures as pets.

Wildlife from Madagascar is increasingly popular on the black market with more than 4,300 tortoises of various species being recovered by Thai authorities in one airport alone over the last three years.

"A day after a wildlife trade conference in Bangkok, Thailand, authorities caught a man attempting to smuggle a bag full of tortoises shipped from Madagascar."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Queen in the North on 30 March, 2013, 15:39
Scumbags! Makes me so mad. The article says the bright side is that they were likely intended for the pet trade, but still, how many are likely to die through being smuggled on flights in poor conditions. Then how many are likely to die through poor care when they are pets. As they are illegal to keep as pets as they're so endangered there's probably very little information available about their captive care.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hilander on 30 March, 2013, 18:17
Anyone caught smuggling an endangered species should spend several years in prison. I don't care if they were meant as a pet. Look how some people treat their pets when they grow tired of them.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Coffey on 30 March, 2013, 18:22
That's disgusting, definitely should be sent to prison.
Comment icon #4 Posted by AliveInDeath7 on 30 March, 2013, 18:30
Greedy foolish man.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Lava_Lady on 30 March, 2013, 18:37
What a Jack ass... people like this guy and his accomplice don't think about anything but money.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sundew on 31 March, 2013, 3:28
Since the condition of the tortoises may have deteriorated since they were collected, the best thing that could happen to them and for the species is that they be given to a reputable breeder who has had experience with these or similar species. They could be treated for disease caused by mishandling, crowding and neglect and brought back to a state of health, then used as the nexus for a breeding colony. The offspring could be raised to a size where survival in the wild is likely (young turtles and tortoises are easy prey) and used to repopulate the original habitat, or perhaps national parks... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by ShadowBoy86x on 31 March, 2013, 13:43
this makes me sick! Wait till TMNT hears about this!
Comment icon #8 Posted by ShadowBoy86x on 31 March, 2013, 13:45
all jokes aside, it is really sad ( tried to add this to last message and it reposted it, i should wait till im fully awake before i come on here *embarassed*
Comment icon #9 Posted by Chooky88 on 1 April, 2013, 0:19
Much worse than drug smugglers. Lock him up for life and send a clear message.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 1 April, 2013, 3:24
he should punish where he learns his lesson and won't do it ever again!!!but let it obviously humane and fair should never take a wild animal and especially one that is almost endangered from extinction.just so you could make question is how would humanity or That person that stole the animals feel if they abducted him and sold him on the black market?

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