Asian Turtle Program
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No. 217, 15th January 2016

1. China: Endangered turtle shells found hidden in nappy bags at Shenzhen border crossing in China
SOURCE: – DATE: 14th January 2015

According to reports, on Tuesday night (12th January 2016) shells of over 40 critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) were found hidden in four nappy bags at Shenzhen border crossing in southern China. The case is under investigation by customs’ anti-smuggling department.

Link to this web article online (English)

Hawkbill sea turtle


2. India: Police seize 5,000 tortoises
SOURCE: – DATE: 13th January 2016

The police seized thousands of tortoises from a lorry in Dumka district of Jharkhand, India. 75 sacks full of tortoises were seized from smugglers after police inspected a lorry at a check post on grounds of suspicion. However, the driver and his assistant managed to escape. Police official, Ajit Kumar, said there were at least 5,000 tortoises. Around 107 tortoises were counted dead. The animals were given to the forest department and were released into a dam in Dumka district.

ATP NOTE: from the video the species appears to be Indian Flapshell Turtles (Lissemys punctate).

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

3. Vietnam: a 50kg sea turtle with engraved carapace found
SOURCE: – DATE: 13th January 2016

On the 13th of January 2016, Quang Tri province’s Department of Exploitation and Protection of Fisheries Resources, Management Board of Con Co Island Nature Reserve, and Cua Viet Border Guard Station in collaboration with People’s Committee of Trieu An Commune, Trieu Phong, Quang Tri released one sea turtle to the sea. Earlier, a local fisherman named Nguyen Xuan Hinh caught this turtle whose length was 90 cm and weight was 50kg. On its carapace, there is some hieroglyph. Local authorities had talked and encouraged the fisherman to hand over, thus release the turtle to the wild.

ATP NOTE: from the image, this turtle appears to be a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). Markings on the carapace are not clearly visible in the photograph.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

rare sea turtle found in Quang Tri


Impressed Tortoise

© Tran Van Trung

4. Vietnam: The truth behind rumour “golden turtle caught in Ha Tinh”
SOURCE: – DATE: 14th January 2015

Recently, rumour had spread of a man Ha Tinh province, Vietnam capturing a golden turtle worth hundreds of millions Vietnam dong (thousands of dollars). To find out the reliability of the piece of information, the reporter interview with Mr Ha Dinh Duc, an expert with many years of doing research on the turtles. Mr Duc identified the turtle as an Impressed Tortoise (Manouria impressa). Mr Duc also stated that there was no scientific evidence that Golden Coin Turtle could be effectively used for cancer treatment.

ATP NOTE: the belief that certain species have specific medicinal qualities can lead to high values and as such increased hunting pressure for those species, despite no evidence that these traditional use have any real benefits.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

5. The USA: North Carolina Aquarium take in nearly 450 rescued sea turtles in record event
SOURCE: – DATE: 12th January 2015

A sudden spate of winter weather has taken its toll on sea turtles along the North Carolina coast.A statement from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources says the sudden cold caught more than 600 turtles in frigid waters near the shore. The turtles couldn't swim to safety because of their hypothermia-like reaction. The North Carolina Aquariums have taken in nearly 450 turtles.

Link to this web article online (English)

frozen abused turtle


6. The USA: Frozen solid, abused turtle comes to life
SOURCE: - DATE: 12th January 2016

Medical staff at The Pennsylvania SPCA's Shelter Hospital were sure the Red-eared Slider Turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) brought in last week, still frozen in a container, was dead. "When we looked at her there were no signs of life," said Alicia Royer, nursing supervisor. Magically, after two hours of applying the warmth therapy, Roger picked up the reptile to remove ice from its foot, and she thought it moved.

The reptile had been discovered partially submerged in ice in a container on the porch of a rowhome in the 900 block of East Schiller Street, Tioga, Pennsylvania, the USA. Evidently this was not the first time the turtle had suffered. It was missing toes, some of the tissue on its limbs had died off and the shell was badly damaged.

Link to this web article online (English)


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