Asian Turtle Program
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No. 197, 30th August 2015

1. China rescues 620 smuggled turtles and tortoises
SOURCE: – DATE: 30th August 2015

Frontier police in south China have seized 620 turtles and tortoises, including 510 under state protection, smuggled from Vietnam.

The police said they heard "creeping sounds" when inspecting a truck supposedly carrying frozen seafood in Fangchenggang City in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on the 24th of August 2015. Fifteen cartons on the truck were found to contain endangered species including Indochinese Box turtles (Cuora galbinifrons) and Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata). They were destined for Guangdong, where endangered turtles are sold on the black markets as delicacies.

The police have transferred the turtles to forestry authorities.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

620 turtles seized in China

Pu Mat National Park released animals


2. Vietnam: Pu Mat National Park released 2 Stump-tailed Macaques, 1 Rhesus Macaque and 5 Impressed Tortoises to the wild.
SOURCE: – DATE: 22nd August 2015

On the 22nd of August, 2015, Mr. Tran Xuan Cuong, Director of Pu Mat National Park (Nghe An) said that the national park had just released some rare wildlife handed over by Nghe An’s Forest Protection Department (FPD) to the nature. These animals included 5 Impressed Tortoises (Manouria impressa) handed over by Con Cuong FPD, 2 Stump-tailed Macaques (Macaca Arctoides), 1 Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). Prior to the release, the animals had been taken good care of to ensure their ability to adapt the wild environment.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

520 kg rotten organs seized


3. Ninh Binh province, Vietnam: Police detect a bus transporting 520 kg of rotten organs and 12 wild animals
SOURCE: – DATE: 22nd August 2015

On the 22nd of August 2015, Market Control of Ninh Binh police in collaboration with Economic Police of Ninh Binh detected a bus (plated 42S-6269, running on Da Nang – Hanoi route) transporting 520 kg of rotten organs and 12 wild animals. The wildlife included 7 pangolins (weighing 22kg in total) and 5 Big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum). The animals belonged to a man Nguyen Duc Vu (29 years old, living in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam). When being arrested, Vu confessed that since 2013, he had transported wildlife to send in Ha Nam province in northern Vietnam once a month. The rotten organs were destroyed, while the animals were handed over to Ninh Binh police for further investigation.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

4. The USA: Petition prompts Santa's Village to stop painting tortoise shells
SOURCE: – DATE: 25th August 2015

Decorating tortoise shells will no longer be offered at Santa's Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee (Illinois, the USA) after a suburban woman started an online petition protesting the children's camp activity.

Jenny Abrams of Maywood created the petition after a recent visit to the entertainment destination with her family when she saw a tortoise that had been painted pink and purple. Her campaign was such a success that she collected more than 7000 signatures from supporters. As a result, Santa's Village announced to “discontinue the practice."

Link to this web article online (English)

Santa Village Azoosment Park

© The Courier News

softshell turtle released with human effort

© Sabah Wildlife Department and Danau Girang Field Centre

softshell released with human support

© Sabah Wildlife Department and Danau Girang Field Centre

5. Malaysia: Endangered turtle destined for soup pot gets new start
SOURCE: – DATE: 25th August 2015

Woman who spotted Asian giant softshell turtle in a Malaysian Borneo market bought it; turned it over to wildlife experts, who released it to the wild.

For one Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) , a single person’s kindness meant the difference between life and death-as-soup. In July, Serene Voo Nyuk Wei stumbled on a 15kg Asian giant soft shell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) at a market in her hometown of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah. She purchased the turtle for the Malaysian equivalent of $165 US, then took it home and contacted Sabah’s Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) for aid to have the turtle released back into the Kinabatangan River.

ATP NOTE:  As seen from the pictures, the turtle appears not to be a Pelochelys cantorii but is in fact a Asiatic Softshell Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea).

Link to this web article online (English)

6. Taiwan: Rights group upset over ‘turtle abuse’
SOURCE: – DATE: 25th August 2015

An animal rescue group on Sunday condemned the alleged actions of a group of young people after pictures were posted online apparently showing a turtle being stepped on.

Animal Rescue Team Taiwan spokesperson, Ni Ching-tai, said the organization had received calls from concerned members of the public on Sunday about photographs posted on Instagram that showed animal abuse. The animal rescue group moved quickly to identify the school the adolescent perpetrators attended by using other photos linked to the Instagram account. They expressed its concerns to the school so that the students can receive remedial education over their behaviour.

Link to this web article online (English)

stepping on turtle

© Animal Rescue Team Taiwan

femal wildlife trader arrested


7. Vietnam: Female wildlife trader arrested in Nghe An province
SOURCE: infonet – DATE: 26th August 2015

At the beginning of August 2015, through investigation, Nghe An Environmental Police found that Nguyen Thi Quyen (born 1969, resident at Nam Thanh commune, Yen Thanh district, Nghe An province) had been storing, transporting and trading wildlife illegally.

At 6am, on the 14th of August 2015, Nghe An Police was informed that on that day, Quyen would drive her car to Vinh city, Nghe An province to collect wildlife. Following her, the police caught Quyen with a bag full of wildlife including 1 Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), 15 Four-eyed turtles (Sacalia quadriocellata) and 1 Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

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