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No. 269, 13th January 2017

1. India: Indian police rescue 6,000 turtles in 'largest' haul
SOURCE: - DATE: 11th January 2017

Indian police said on Wednesday (the 11th of January 2017) they had recovered more than 6,000 freshwater turtles weighing over four tonnes from poachers who planned to smuggle them to Southeast Asia, in the country's largest-ever wildlife haul.

The 6,430 Flapshell Turtles (Lissemys punctata) were discovered stuffed into 140 jute bags in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India on Tuesday (the 10th of January 2017).

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Indian Tortoises


mercy release

© Caijing


2. China: 'Mercy release' kills animals, damages eco-environment
SOURCE: – DATE: 5th January 2017

Firefighters have rushed to capture snakes, turtles and other captive animals freed in 'mercy releases' on a beach to mark New Year in southern Chinese city Haikou, Hainan Province, China.

Freeing captive animals is an age-old religious tradition said to bring good luck. Some monks joined the ceremony to release animals into the wild on the 1st of January. Tourists at the beach later called police for help after they found the animals, including pythons slithering in the sand. By 7:15 pm, five live snakes were caught, but some other animals had already died. Many Haikou residents buy Red-eared Terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans) to set free, a practice they believe can fight evil spirits and ward off disaster. Experts say the practice hurts the environment and other animals. The Red-eared terrapin is an invasive species that can be harmful to native fish.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Vietnam:  two arrested for illegally transporting wildlife
SOURCE: – DATE: 9th January 2017

On the 8th of January 2017, the police of Huong Son district, Ha Tinh province in collaboration with Border Guards and Custom Officials of Cau Treo International Border Gate (Ha Tinh province) detected and arrested two accused illegally transporting wildlife by a coach (number plate: UN-9009). The animals confiscated included 9 pangolins (28kg) and 5 turtles (3kg).

ATP NOTE: The involved turtles included 1 Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) and 4 Southern Asian Leaf Turtle (Cyclemys oldhamii). All the animals were transferred to Cuc Phuong National Park.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


wildlife confiscation


parrots & turtles seized in India


4. India: Three in 14-day judicial custody over parrot, turtle sale
SOURCE: - DATE: 9th January 2017

The forest department had raided two shops in Crawford (Tamil Nadu, India) and arrested three persons on the 4th of January 2017. Three accused of illegal trading of various types of parrots and Indian Pond Terrapins (Melanochelys trijuga) have been sent to 14-day judicial custody.

To specify, twelve small parrots, four adult parrots, five Indian parrots out of which one died, six Spotted Black Terrapins (Geoclemys hamiltonii) and nine Indian Star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) were seized from the three accused. After the raid, these protected species were immediately taken to the Thane Society of Prevention from Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) for medical tests. While the parrots were shifted to Katraj zoo in Pune, the turtles were sent to the Dahanu rescue centre, which is specially designed to treat turtles.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. India: 4 exotic tortoises rescued from Sohna resort
SOURCE: – DATE: 10th January 2017

Four exotic tortoises were rescued from a resort in Sohna (Gurgaon, Haryana, India) by the wildlife department after a Delhi-based animal activist filed a complaint with the Union government against the owner of the resort for allegedly hosting a mini-zoo on its premises.

Wildlife officials, led by inspector Sunil, reportedly rescued the four tortoises - three Indian Star tortoises - (Geochelone elegans) and one Red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria) – from the resort on the 2nd of January 2017. However, the owner of the resort has not yet been arrested or fined.

Link to this web article online (English)

6. India: 41 dead turtles found this nesting season
SOURCE: - DATE: 11th January 2017

In an extremely worrying trend to the start of the Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), nesting season, as many as 41 dead turtles have been found in the beaches in the city of Chennai, India.

Volunteers from the Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN), who were patrolling the beaches on Sunday night looking for nests, found 13 dead turtles. Conservationists stressed on the need for the enforcement of making Turtle Excluder Devices (TED) compulsory in fishing nets.

Link to this web article online (English)


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