On the morning of 14th of August 2015 a car was stopped in Village 3, Nghi Kim Commune, Vinh City, Nghe An province, in north central Vietnam by the environmental police of the province. The car which was driven by Nguyen Thi Quyen who lives in the province. 16 live turtles (3.4 kg) and 1 pangolin (5.5kg) were confiscated from the vehicle as Ms Nguyen could not provide legal documentation for the animals.
Nghe An environmental police decided to transfer all of these confiscated animals to Cuc Phuong National Park on the 16th of August 2015. At present 15 Four-eyed Turtles (Sacalia quadriocellata) and 1 Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) are in quarantine at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) while the decision is being made to find a suitable release location for the animals or to bring them into dedicated breeding programs for the species that already exist at the centre.
The endangered Four-eyed Turtle once of relatively little interest in the wildlife trade due to its particularly foul smell has become more desirable in recent years, thankfully successful breeding of the species for over 10 years at the TCC means many captive bred animals are now reaching maturity and provide an important assurance population for the species.
The critically endangered Indochinese Box Turtle became protected under Vietnamese national law Decree 160/2013/ND-CP which thankfully means greater focus by wildlife protection agencies on this highly threated species.
We would like to thank Mr. Tran Minh Son, the vice of Nghe An environmental police for supporting the TCC on the rescued. We would also like to thank all the contributors to the TCC and ATP who make such rescues and running of the facility possible. In particular supporters for 2015, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF) and London Zoological Society.
Press release by: Do Thanh Hao – TCC &Timothy McCormack – ATP
Date: 19th August 2015