Asian Turtle Program
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No. 287, 19th May 2017

1. Malaysia seizes 330 exotic tortoises from Madagascar
 SOURCE: - DATE: 15th May 2017

Malaysian authorities said Monday (15th of May 2017) that they have seized 330 exotic tortoises from Madagascar worth 1.2 million ringgit ($276,721), in the latest heist of illegal wildlife and animal parts being smuggled into the country.

Deputy customs director Abdull Wahid Sulong said that 325 Indian Star Tortoises (Geochelone elegans) and five Ploughshare Tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora) were packed into five boxes and labelled as stones. He said the live tortoises, usually kept as pets, arrived via Etihad Airways from Antanaviro Airport in Madagascar on Sunday (14th of May 2017).

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

turtle confiscated in Malaysia


2. China: Rafetus swinhoei update, May 2017
TSA and partners coordinate a third artificial insemination attempt of the Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle in China
SOURCE: – DATE: 15th May 2017

Semen collection by electro-ejaculation and artificial insemination of the last pair of Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in China unfortunately did not produce any fertilized eggs in 2015 and 2016, therefore we continue to modify and improve the procedures. Since artificial insemination has never been attempted in any other softshell turtle, TSA and partners must continue to learn through trial and error. In preparation for the new attempt in April 2017, at our request, Suzhou Zoo separated the male and the female in mid-October 2016 so that the male would not (due to his damaged penis) lose sperm through unsuccessful mating attempts during winter and early spring.

Link to this web article online (English)

Rafetus swinhoei

© P. Calle

Rafetus swinhoei

© P. Calle

3. Vietnam: Hanoi Rescue Centre received 86 confiscated wild animals in one week - including 77 tortoises and freshwater turtles
SOURCE: - DATE: 19th May 2017

Over the period of one week from the 12th to the 18th of May 2017, the Hanoi Rescue Centre received several confiscations of a total of 86 animals.

These included one Bengal Slow Loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) from My Duc district Police in Hanoi, Vietnam; 79 animals (2 Bengal monitor lizards (Varanus bengalensis) , 37 Elongated Tortoises (Indotestudo elongata), 26 Red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), 3 Eastern Black-breasted Leaf Turtles (Cyclemys pulchristriata) and 11 Map turtles) from Hai Ba Trung district police in Hanoi; 5 animals (1 Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), 3 Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica), 1 Common Water Monitor (Varanus salvator)) from Cau Giay district police also in Hanoi; and 1 Northern Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca leonina) by Hanoi Forest Department Protection. Unfortunately, two Elongated Tortoises and an Eastern Black-breasted Leaf Turtle had already died from severe injuries.

ATP NOTE: This appears to have been from a week of crackdowns on illegal wildlife trade in Hanoi. We are determining what will happen to the turtles in these confiscations and if we can help. The ATP and TCC urgently need support do deal with the increased confiscations we are seeing.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


Wildlife handover in Soc Son


wildlife confiscation


4. Indonesia: Japanese man held for wildlife smuggling in Indonesia
SOURCE: – DATE: 19th May 2017

On Friday the 19th of May it was reported that a Japanese man was arrested at Jakarta international airport trying to smuggle 250 reptiles out of Indonesia, including green tree pythons, lizards from Borneo island and Pig-nosed Turtles (Carettochelys insculpta). He could face up to 3 years in jail under Indonesian law.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. Malaysia: Man nabbed with 3,000 turtle eggs off Sandakan
SOURCE: – DATE: 19th May 2017

A man believed to be a smuggler was caught in the waters off Sandakan with 3,000 turtle eggs early Friday (19th of May 2017).

The suspect, a 40-year-old Filipino, was on a pump boat heading towards Kg Forest when marine police officers saw him. Police also found 10 plastic bags containing 3,000 turtle eggs, believed smuggled from the Philippines for the local market here.

Link to this web article online (English)

smuggle 3000 turtle eggs

© The Star



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