3. Indonesia. Almost 1,500 turtles “crammed like sardines” into suitcases
DATE: 26th January 2012
On the 25th January 2012 1,495 live Pig-nosed turtles (Carettochelys insculpta) were seized in Mopah Airport, Merauke, in Papua Province, Indonesia. They were concealed inside two suitcases en route to Jakarta, the nation's capital and a major hub for illicit wildlife trade.
Valued as pets, and possibly consumed as meat in some countries, Pig-nosed Turtles are smuggled out of Indonesia by the thousands. Many are destined for the pet markets of East Asia, to places such as Hong Kong, where demand for this species is rising. The turtles are often concealed in shipments of tropical aquarium fish. There are also indications that many of the turtles are bound for the kitchen table, or to be used in traditional medicines. Pig-nosed Turtles (Carettochelys insculpta) are totally protected in Indonesia, making collection for export illegal.
Link to this web article online (English)