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Turtles rescued in Nghe An province, Vietnam

On the morning of 14th of August 2015 a car was stopped in Village 3, Nghi Kim Commune, Vinh City, Nghe An province, in north central Vietnam by the environmental police of the province.  The car which was driven by Nguyen Thi Quyen who lives in the province. 16 live turtles (3.4 kg) and 1 pangolin (5.5kg) were confiscated from the vehicle as Ms Nguyen could not provide legal documentation for the animals.

Nghe An environmental police decided to transfer all of these confiscated animals to Cuc Phuong National Park on the 16th of August 2015.  At present 15 Four-eyed Turtles (Sacalia quadriocellata) and 1 Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) are in quarantine at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) while the decision is being made to find a suitable release location for the animals or to bring them into dedicated breeding programs for the species that already exist at the centre. 

The endangered Four-eyed Turtle once of relatively little interest in the wildlife trade due to its particularly foul smell has become more desirable in recent years, thankfully successful breeding of the species for over 10 years at the TCC means many captive bred animals are now reaching maturity and provide an important assurance population for the species.

The critically endangered Indochinese Box Turtle became protected under Vietnamese national law Decree 160/2013/ND-CP which thankfully means greater focus by wildlife protection agencies on this highly threated species.

Press release by: Do Thanh Hao – TCC &Timothy McCormack - ATP
Date: 19th August 2015
Download this press release in English here

Download this press release in Vietnamese here

sacalia quadriocellata

Above: Some of the 15 Four eyed turtle waiting to be processed at the TCC quarantine facility, after a period in quarantine they will most likely join a focused conservation breeding program at the centre.   Photo by: Nguyen Duc Luong - TCC


Sacalia quadriocellata

Above: A pair of captive bred male (green head spots) and female (yellow head spots) Four eyed Turtles at the TCC, they are now almost mature. Photo by: Timothy McCormack - ATP


TCC cage

Above: An example of a secure outdoor pond enclosure where the Four-eyed Turtles could eventually end up. These semi-wild enclosures have proved very successful for breeding the species. Photo by: Timothy McCormck - ATP


Thank you

We would like to thank Mr. Tran Minh Son, the vice of Nghe An environmental police for supporting the TCC on the rescued. We would also like to thank all the contributors to the TCC and ATP who make such rescues and running of the facility possible. In particular supporters for 2015, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF) and London Zoological Society.

cmz disney disney

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To see more on the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) and the work they are doing please visit their website:

For further information, please contact:
Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) - Cuc Phuong National Park
Nho Quan Dist., Ninh Binh Prov., Vietnam
Tel: +84 (0) 30384 8090

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) - Indo-Myanmar Conservation
Office: Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu road, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84 (0) 24 7302 8389


MBZ ATP would like to thanks the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for supporting this website
Asian Turtle Program - Indo-Myanmar Conservation
Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Phone:+84 (0) 24 7302 8389

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