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No. 214, 25th December 2015

1. Vietnam: Nearly one hundred wild animals released to the wild
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd December 2015

On the 23rd of December 2015, the Forest Protection Department (FPD) of Xuan Moc district, Ba Ria- Vung Tau province released nearly 100 wild animals back into nature. These animals had been confiscated from a local man named Kieu Quoc Tai. They included 40 kg of Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia), 11 kg of Banded Swamp Snake (Homalopsis buccata), 3kg of moorhen, 5.5 kg of squirrel, 5.5 kg of Junglefowls and 2.5 kg of geckos and 3 leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) (9kg), 4 badgers (11kg), 10 snakes (4.5kg) and one turtle.

ATP NOTE: from photographs that appear to show the confiscation and release of these animals it appears to be a Malayan Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis) that was included.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

release 100 kg of wildlifes in Ba Ria-Vung Tau

© Xuan Thang

wild softshell turtle caught


2. Vietnam: Southeast Asian soft terrapin caught in southern Vietnam
SOURCE: - DATE: 21st December 2015

Reportedly, around 3.00 pm on the 21st of December 2015, Nguyen Thanh Hien (from Thuong Phuoc 1 Commune, Hong Ngu District, Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam) caught a 25kg soft-shell turtle in a local catfish pond.

ATP NOTE: from the image, this turtle appears to be a Southeast Asian soft terrapin (Amyda cartilaginea), a widely distributed semi-aquatic species of Southeast Asian countries. We are trying to contact local authorities for more information on this case.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

3. Hanoi, Vietnam: Hoan Kiem lake emerged from the water when the new year is coming
SOURCE: – DATE: 22nd December 2015

At noon of the 21st of December, the Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) emerged from the water in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem lake for almost 2 hours. This is the first time that the turtle appeared in December 2015. Pr. Ha Dinh Duc, a turtle expert who witnessed the turtle’s surface said that the turtle looked healthy. The lake turtle attracts many people to the lake when it surfaces because of its spiritual and historical significances.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Hoan Kiem turtle

© Ha Dinh Duc

4. India: 124 turtles recovered from Mainpuri district; one arrested
SOURCE: – DATE: 20th December 2015

On the 20th of December 2015, a team of forest officials recovered 124 turtles including 100 Black Pond turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii), 20 Indian mud turtles (Lissemys punctata) and 4 Softshell Turtles, from Mainpuri district, Uttar Pradesh, India and arrested one Jitendra resident of Nagla Rateh as a gang member involved in the racket while the kingpin of the smuggling gang Akhilesh resident of the same village was able to escape. The polices are taking efforts to prosecute the main kingpin.

According to officers these turtles were being smuggled to South East Asian countries where they are served as delicacies. In the past other rescues of turtles have taken place in Mainpuri.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. Thailand: Man arrested after posting to sell stolen Burmese star tortoises on the internet
SOURCE: – DATE: 23th December 2015

On the 22nd of December 2015, Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division police arrested a man after he posted sales of several protected and endangered wildlife species on the internet. Seized from a search in his house were three Burmese Star Tortoises(Geochelone platynota), and a number of Sulcata tortoises (Centrochelys sulcata), and Marmoset monkeys. All of them are Appendix I of CITES.

The three Burmese Star Tortoises had religious marking engraved into their carapaces that matched those of tortoises stolen from a Myanmar wildlife conservation centre. The Burmese authorities have sought cooperation from Thai authorities to help locate the animals.

ATP NOTE: These Burmese Star Tortoises were part of a group of animals released into Minsontaung Wildlife Sanctuary in 2015 as part of a monitored release program.  The theft of the animals and the appearance of them in the Thai pet trade just go to show that the demands of the pet trade and illegal hunting still present a great risk to the survival of this species in the wild.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

turtles smuggled in Thailand


paint Gopher tortoises


6. The USA:  1 of 2 tortoises with vandalized shell dies
SOURCE: – DATE: 17th December 2015

The Florida Fish and Wildlife officers investigate into who painted the shells of two Gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus), which harmed to the turtle as the animals use their shells to help them breathe and in this case, led to the death of one of the animals

One of the tortoises was found in Blanchard Park, the other in Pine Hills. They were taken to the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge in Orlando, Florida, the USA. The weaker, older tortoise passed away as a result of an infection and dehydration, likely not related to the permanent marking on its shell. The other tortoise’s shell was covered in nail polish, which refuge workers were working to remove. It was having respiratory issues, likely related to nail polish on its shell.

Link to this web article online (English)


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