On the 23rd of April 2019, a rescue team from the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) and the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park joined staff from Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) to travel to Huong Son Town in Ha Tinh province to rescue a number of turtles and a pangolin from the wildlife trade.
The rescued animals included a single pangolin and 17 turtles of 4 species: one Southeast Asian Softshell Turtle (Amyda ornata), seven critically endangered Indochinese Box Turtles (Cuora galbinifrons), five endangered Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii) and four endangered Big-Headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) (two of which unfortunately did not survive). The animals were being smuggled from Laos into Vietnam on a bus when Huong Son Town Police Department intercepted the vehicle and seized the animals. The animals were being kept in poor conditions and all of the turtles were weak and dehydrated.
The 15 surviving turtles have been taken to the TCC, while the pangolin has been moved to Pu Mat Rescue Centre, to get sufficient treatment and care following their stressful journey in the illegal wildlife trade. This confiscation and rescue comes less than one week after another rescue in Hoa Binh province of 28 Cuora mouhotii; the ATP/IMC and TCC expect many more in the coming weeks as the rainy season increases the activity of turtles in Vietnam.
The TCC is already at full capacity with little space for each turtle and more rescues will only exacerbate this situation. We need your help and support to be able to release some turtles back to the wild!
Press release by: Jack Carney – ATP/IMC
Date: 24th April 2019