On the 4th of October 2016, Economic police of Thai Binh province stopped a truck with two individuals (Ngô Văn Hạnh and Lê Anh Đức) from Quang Binh Province. In the vehicle they found 61 Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and 37 Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum). All the animals were transferred to Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh province by Thai Binh Forest Protection Department (FPD) and the Police. As a species often found in fast flowing mountain streams and waterfalls, the confiscation of these animals in the lowland coastal province of Thai Binh suggests the animals were being transported north towards Mong Cai town, Quang Ninh province, a major border crossing point between Vietnam and China.
The Big-headed Turtle is considered endangered on the IUCN red-list 2015 and protected under Vietnamese national law, Decree 32/2006 ND-CP as well as listed in Appendix I by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). All the turtles are now being cared for at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong with the support of the Asian Turtle Program (ATP), fish hooks have already been found in a number of individuals and they will likely need surgeries.
The TCC and ATP would like to thank all the organisations and individuals that continues to support our rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
Press release by: Thanh Do Hao – Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Cuc Phuong National Park
Date: 5th October 2016