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No. 148, 12th September 2014

1. Herpes warning on tortoise imports

SOURCE: – DATE: 7th September 2014

Conservation groups are warning pet owners about purchasing hatchling Horsfield's tortoises (Agrionemys horsfieldi) which are being imported with herpes and other contagious diseases. The hatchlings are being offered for sale as “captive-bred” animals but are suspected of being bred from wild females or harvested from the wild in Uzbekistan and Russia. Unlike other species of tortoise, no licence is needed to import Horsfield's tortoises into Ireland once they are “captive-bred”. The importation and sale of wild creatures is strictly banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangers Species (CITES).

Link to this web article online (English)

© The Sunday Times

2. 100 Yr. Old Galapagos Tortoise Successfully Relocated From San Diego To Toledo, Proves You Are Never To Old To Move

SOURCE: – DATE: 7 th September 2014

Emerson, a 100-years-old dome-shelled Galapagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) has been successfully relocated to his new home in Toledo zoo. He was moved there from the San Diego zoo, late last month.

Emerson has been brought in for a special reason. The zoo recently received three 2-year-old Galapagos tortoises from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas and the zoo officials want to eventually house all the four members of the species in the same enclosure. Visitors can then be able to compare the hulking, centenarian Emerson to the young tortoises, which now can be picked up with one hand. Zoo officials want the families and several of their subsequent generations to watch these species thrive, albeit in an enclosed environment.

Link to this web article online (English)

© Inquistr

3. Outrage after West Michigan girl posts turtle mutilation on Facebook

SOURCE: – DATE: 8 th September 2014

A graphic video of siblings sawing off the head of a turtle was recently posted to Facebook , sparking controversy. Catrina Shears, 17, of Cedar Springs recently posted the 43 second video to Facebook. According to her comments, she was helping her brother take the head off a snapping turtle. She said they were in rush and could not find an ax. This sparked a cross-fire on Facebook: Hundreds of comments from across the country protesting this method of killing. Some said they always hunt and kill animals where the death is instant. Both the Kent County Sheriff's Office and Cedar Springs Police Department said they were unaware of this posting and are not handling this case.

Link to this web article online (English)

4. T hanh Hoa province, Vietnam: Reintroduce a rare sea turtle

SOURCE: – DATE: 8 th September 2014

The Exploiting and Protection of Aquatic Resources Branch, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam, worked with a local citizen to reintroduce a Green sea turtle (Chelonia myda). The animal which was over 1m in length and weighed 70kg was releaed back to the sea. Earler it had been caught in a local fishermans net, Mr Le Ngoc Sung in Hai Ninh Commune, Tinh Gia District, Thanh Hoa province. Sung and some local fishermen then brought the animal ashore and took care of it before reporting their finding to the local authorities.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

© dan tri

5. The USA: North shore man helps feds untangle turtle-smuggling ring

SOURCE: – DATE: 9 th September 2014

A Covington mailman implicated in an international turtle-smuggling ring recently turned state's evidence, luring a cash-carrying reptile buyer from Hong Kong into a sting operation at a Florida food court.

The arrest of the buyer, Hon Kit “John” Lau, capped a month-long investigation in which the authorities untangled a web of deception by subpoenaing bank records and email accounts and following illegal shipments of North American Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) halfway around the world. A federal grand jury in New Orleans indicted Lau last month, and a detailed account of the intricate case has emerged in court documents.

At the centre of the operation was a St. Tammany Parish postal worker, Lawrence Treigle Jr., who according to authorities has admitted his role as a seasoned intermediary in the turtle trade, a lucrative business that netted him hundreds of thousands of dollars from Asian buyers.

The case highlights the shady underworld of illicit wildlife trafficking, an international, multibillion-dollar business that often involves endangered or threatened species.

Link to this web article online (English)

6. The USA: Longview man arrested for possession, eating threatened turtle species

SOURCE: – DATE: 9 th September 2014

A man living in Longview, Cowlitz County, Washington, United States has been arrested for possession of a threatened species. Longview Police said Timothy Anderson, 36, was issued a warrant by the Gregg County Game Warden in April 2013 for possessing an Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) . Officials said failure to pay that fine resulted in his arrest Monday night.

The Gregg County Game Warden said that when they arrived at Anderson's home , the rare turtle was already dead. Anderson had eaten the turtle. The game warden seized the remaining shell so that it could not be sold for profit on the black market. He said it will be used for educational purposes.

Alligator Snapping Turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in North America and among the largest in the world. Because of their spiked shells and jaws, the species is often said to look like a dinosaur. They can live to be 100-years-old. The game warden said in the species is not endangered, but is threatened and it is illegal to hunt, capture, or harm an Alligator Snapping Turtle.

Link to this web article online (English)

© Gregg County Jail

7. Australia: Police seize sickly turtle in random traffic stop at Green Head in WA Mid-West

SOURCE: - DATE: 1 th September 2014

Leeman Police officer-in-charge Sergeant, Mark Cannon found the dehydrated reptile during a random traffic stop in the coastal down, 255km north of Perth, Australia this morning. The turtle, understood to be an Oblong or Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicolli) , was in a metal box in the back of the pick up truck. Sergeant Cannon said the turtle was handed over to Parks and Wildlife officers.

Oblong turtles are able to be kept as pets in WA, but only by licensed owners. They are not allowed to be harvested from the wild. The turtle's captor, a 21-year-old Jurien Bay man, could face charges from the Department of Parks and Wildlife


Link to this web article online (English)


8. Costa Rica: Police find 9,400 sea turtle eggs in car trunk outside Nicoya

SOURCE: – DATE: 11 th September 2014

Costa Rica 's National Police have seized what is likely the biggest illegal stash of poached sea turtle eggs this year, just outside of Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Police officers spotted a nervous driver of a Nissan Sentra at a highway checkpoint outside Nicoya, a city on the Nicoya Peninsula, on Tuesday evening. When they tried to flag down the driver, he hit the gas and fled, along with a second suspect. Police gave chase for three kilometers before apprehending the driver and a passenger. After searching the car, authorities discovered 9,400 turtle eggs packed into the car's trunk. Both suspects, identified with the last names  Sequeira and Matarrita,  were handed over to a flagrancy court in Santa Cruz on Wednesday morning.

In a separate incident, two women, including a 15-year-old girl, were caught with 223 illegal turtle eggs on Tuesday afternoon at Playa Bejuco , on the central Pacific coast. The two suspects also were taken to the Santa Cruz flagrancy court.

Link to this web article online (English)

© Leeman police

© ticotimes



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