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46 more endangered turtles rescued in Vietnam - May 2016  

The rainy season in Vietnam has brought more confiscation of endangered turtle species from the illegal wildlife trade.

Reportedly, at 4.30pm of the 24th of May 2016, Duy Tien District Police, Ha Nam province (northern Vietnam) stopped Nguyen Manh Hiep, born in 1990 at Village 1, Vu Doai Commune, Vu Thu District, Thai Binh Province driving a motorcycle on national highway 1A with two cardboard boxes and one black bag. On inspection, the police found 72 turtles of seven species, comprising 23 Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), 1 Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti), 8 Impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa), 7 Big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum), 6 Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), 1 Chinese stripe-necked turtle (Mauremys sinensis), and 26 Oldham’s leaf turtle (Cyclemys oldhami). The first four species are fully protected under Vietnamese law.

One day later, these turtles were successfully transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park where the Quarantine Area are running at full capacity to rescue animal from previous confiscations with the center now working closely full time with the Asian Turtle Program to help support the rescue of these important animals. The rescues of tortoise and freshwater turtles taking place in Vietnam during 2015 and 2016 show an improved effectiveness by the authorities to identify and rescue animals from the trade.

But right now the TCC is currently facing a massive challenge in caring for large numbers of animals coming in from the trade in 2015 and 2016. We would like to thank all those who supported activities so far but we are going to need more help. Right now, we do not have enough staff to care for all the new and existing animals, many of which need intensive medical care.

Please support for keeper staff, animal care or basic equipment. If you would like to support, please visit: We are also welcoming volunteers, please contact the ATP at if you are interested in volunteering at the centre.

Press release by: ATP
Date: May 2016

Download this press release in English here


Download this press release in Vietnamese here

turtle rescue in Ha Nam

Above: Handing over the turtle from Duy Tien District Police, these new endangered box turtle will form one the largest population in captivity of this species in Vietnam; we hope some can be released back into the wild soon. Photo credit: ATP


turtle rescue in Ha Nam

Above: Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) which are Critically Endangered on the IUCN red list, CITES appendix II listed and protected under Vietnamese law Decree 160/2013/ND-CP. Photo credit: ATP


turtle rescue in Ha Nam

Above: The turtles are now under special care at TCC, Cuc Phuong National Park where it will take some months before they make a recovery. Unfortunately, in such trade cases it is also common to see some fatalities as animals are weak, sick and stressed.
Photo credit: ATP


Thank you

We would like to thank the World Land Trust, Bristol Zoo, Zoological Society of London, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Turtle Survival Alliance who have all held support the rescue and treatments so far.

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Support Our Conservation Activities, if you would like our program and activities please visit our donations page or click the donate button


For further information, please contact:
Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) - Cuc Phuong National Park
Nho Quan Dist., Ninh Binh Prov., Vietnam
Tel: +84 (0) 30384 8090

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) - Indo-Myanamar Conservation
Office: Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu road, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Tel: +84 (0) 4 7302 8389


    ATP would like to thanks the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for supporting this website
Asian Turtle Program - Indo Myanamar Conservation
Room 1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Phone:+84 (0) 4 7302 8389

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