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No. 81, 24th May 2013

1. Ha Tinh, Vietnam: Ha Tinh customs seized 44 traded turtles

SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd May 2013

In the afternoon of the 22nd of May the Smuggling Control Unit spotted a man behaving suspiciously while on their patrol in the Economic Zone of the Cau Treo border. When the man realized the police had noticed him, he panicked and fled, leaving behind two bags containing turtles. According to this news article the bags contained 38 rock turtles (24kg) and 6 parrot beak turtles (2kg) (ATP note: from the photo in the article, ATP has identified the turtles as Indochinese box turtles - Cuora galbinifrons and Impressed tortoises - Manouria impressa). The turtles were transferred to the local Forest Protection Department (FPD) where they will be held until the case is solved.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

© Hải quan KKT

China: Wildlife trade seized

DATE: 22nd May 2013

On the 21st of May, Guangxi (an autonomous region of southern China bordering Vietnam) police successfully seized a large number of snakes and turtles (ATP note: the photo in the article shows Big-headed turtles – Platysternon megacephalum, a species full protected under Vietnamese national wildlife protection law, Decree 32/2006/ND-CP and CITES appendix I) being illegally traded across the border. Police found 89 crates of snakes and 24 crates of turtles. The police suspects that these animals were transported across the border to China and originated in neighbouring countries. The animals were all transferred to local forestry authorities, released back to the wild or handed over to animal rescue centres.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


Weymouth, UK: Green sea turtle swims underwater for first time in 11 years

DATE: 20th May 2013

11 years ago, Ali – a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) – was hit by a boat and her giant shell was split open by an engine propeller. She was left for dead after being hit in Palm Beach in Florida. The injury left an air bubble under her shell, stopping her from submerging and causing her to float bottom up. Luckily she was rescued and nursed back to health at a special hospital for turtles - but when her injuries eventually healed an air pocket was left under the shell giving her unwanted buoyancy. Now a team at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park in Dorset, United Kingdom, has created a pioneering belt with 1.13kg of removable lead weights that works just like those used by scuba divers. The new invention is believed to be the first of its kind - and means Ali, named after boxer Muhammad Ali, can dive again. Fiona Smith, curator at the Sea Life park, said: “It will take a little time for Ali to get used to wearing her new jacket but eventually we see her wearing it all the time. This new invention will make life so much better for her. If the belt is successful it could pave the way for the other turtles”.

Link to this web article online (English)

© AP

© Rachel Adams/BNPS

4. Binh Phuoc province, Vietnam: Wildlife released to Bu Gia Map National Park

SOURCE: – DATE:19th May 2013

According to Mr. Le Xuan Lam, manager of the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Center (Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City) the Wildlife at Risk rescue centre released 6 yellow-cheek gibbons (Nomascus gabriellae) , 39 elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata), 5 Asian palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and 4 barn owls to Bu Gia Map National Park. These animals were seized by the Forest Protection Department (FPD) in Ho Chi Minh City in several illegal transport cases. Before they were released, the animals were held and taken care of at the Cu Chi wildlife rescue station.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

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