46 more endangered turtles rescued in Vietnam - May 2016
The rainy season in Vietnam has brought more confiscation of endangered turtle species from the illegal wildlife trade.
Reportedly, at 4.30pm of the 24th of May 2016, Duy Tien District Police, Ha Nam province (northern Vietnam) stopped Nguyen Manh Hiep, born in 1990 at Village 1, Vu Doai Commune, Vu Thu District, Thai Binh Province driving a motorcycle on national highway 1A with two cardboard boxes and one black bag. On inspection, the police found 72 turtles of seven species, comprising 23 Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), 1 Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti), 8 Impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa), 7 Big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum), 6 Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), 1 Chinese stripe-necked turtle (Mauremys sinensis), and 26 Oldham’s leaf turtle (Cyclemys oldhami). The first four species are fully protected under Vietnamese law.
One day later, these turtles were successfully transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park where the Quarantine Area are running at full capacity to rescue animal from previous confiscations with the center now working closely full time with the Asian Turtle Program to help support the rescue of these important animals. The rescues of tortoise and freshwater turtles taking place in Vietnam during 2015 and 2016 show an improved effectiveness by the authorities to identify and rescue animals from the trade.
But right now the TCC is currently facing a massive challenge in caring for large numbers of animals coming in from the trade in 2015 and 2016. We would like to thank all those who supported activities so far but we are going to need more help. Right now, we do not have enough staff to care for all the new and existing animals, many of which need intensive medical care.
Please support for keeper staff, animal care or basic equipment. If you would like to support, please visit: http://www.asianturtleprogram.org/pages/support_atp.html. We are also welcoming volunteers, please contact the ATP at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering at the centre.
Press release by: ATP
Above: Handing over the turtle from Duy Tien District Police, these new endangered box turtle will form one the largest population in captivity of this species in Vietnam; we hope some can be released back into the wild soon. Photo credit: ATP
Above: Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) which are Critically Endangered on the IUCN red list, CITES appendix II listed and protected under Vietnamese law Decree 160/2013/ND-CP. Photo credit: ATP
Above: The turtles are now under special care at TCC, Cuc Phuong National Park where it will take some months before they make a recovery. Unfortunately, in such trade cases it is also common to see some fatalities as animals are weak, sick and stressed.