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No. 211, 4th December 2015

1. Quang Tri province, Vietnam: 90kg of wildlife, including turtles confiscated in central Vietnam.
SOURCE: – DATE: 1st December 2015

On the night of 30th of November 2015, Quang Tri Province Police, seized a shipment of 90kgs wildlife including 03 pangolins, 10 turtles, 21 Asiatic Brush-tailed Porcupines (Atherurus macrourus) and 6 civets that had been sent from a women living in Son Trach Commune, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. The owner claimed that these animals were bought from A Luoi District, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam and transport to Quang Binh restaurants for consumption. These confiscated animals have been transferred to Quang Tri province’s Forest Protection Department to rescue and release back to the wild.

ATP NOTE: from pictures in the article it appears two species of turtles were included in the shipment, the Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii) and the Bourret's Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

wildlife confiscation in Quang Tri

© Hoang Tao


wildlife confiscation in Indonesia© AFP

2. Indonesia: Police bust illegal wildlife trader, confiscate $306,000 in animal goods
SOURCE: – DATE: 3rd December 2015

The National Police have called on the public to increase their concern about wildlife preservation following the recent arrest of a man who amassed wild animal goods worth up to Rp 3 billion (US$217,079) to sell abroad.

The 61-year-old suspect, only known as AA, had been arrested on the 21st of October 2015 in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia for allegedly trading wildlife goods for nearly two years. During his arrest, investigators managed to confiscate 90 dried sea horses, 79 kilograms of sea turtle meat, hundreds of sea turtle shells weighing up to 350 kilograms and antlers of the sambar deer weighing up to 85 kilograms, all of which came from an estimated 270 sea turtles and 34 deer.

AA had admitted that many of his customers had been traders from China and the Middle East, where sea turtles are often used for food or medicine. If found guilty, AA could face a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of Rp 100 million (US$10,209) under Law No. 5/1990 on conservation.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Quang Binh province, Vietnam: Voluntarily transferred a loggerhead sea turtle
SOURCE: – DATE: 3rd December 2015

On the 1st of December, Truong Van Doanh caught a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) weighing more than 25kg while he was fishing off the coast of Hai Ninh commune, Quang Ninh district of Quang Binh province. One of the turtle limb was injured due to entanglement. He intentionally wanted to bring it home to Dong Hoi city to sell it for money, but thanks to the authorities’ advocacy, he decided to transfer the sea turtle to the Department of Aquatic Resource Exploitation and Protection of Quang Binh province. The turtle is to release the back to the sea.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

sea turtle found in Quang Binh©

4. Greece: Gigantic Fossilized Turtle Found
SOURCE: – DATE: 27th November 2015

A group of scientist from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki made a great discovery in Pieria Greece. They located three fossilized turtles, at a beach called Makrigialo, which are estimated to be between 2.5 and 3 million years old. One of these turtles, weighing at 800 kilos, was excavated from the sand and transferred to the City hall.

Evangelia Tsoukala, geology professor at the University of Thessaloniki said that the goal now, is to maintain and protect the 800 kilo turtle and after the necessary financial aid is provided, the process for the move of the other two will begin. Tsoukala added that they aspire to create a Museum for Gigantic Turtles where children and adults can visit to see the discoveries of the area.

Link to this web article online (English)

giantic Fossilized turtle found in Greece


© Youtube

Jailway idea to help turtle© AP

5. Japan: JR West, aquarium solves turtle-linked rail disruptions
SOURCE: – DATE: 30th November 2015

West Japan Railway Co. and Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe have jointly developed a system to prevent turtles from getting caught between railway switches.

They found out from experiments that when turtles trying to cross the tracks fall into the space between them, they have no other choice but to walk between the rails, leading them to get stuck at the junctions. When the point blades move, the turtles get squashed, disrupting train service.

To help them, JR West built five U-shaped concrete ditches under the tracks close to the switch points. JR West staff check the ditches during their monthly track check, rescue any turtles and send any that have fallen into the ditch to the aquarium. The ditches were built at two stations in Nara Prefecture in April and November and a total of 10 turtles were saved from death.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

6. The USA: Man caught with 51 Turtles in His Pants Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Many More
SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd December 2015

A Canadian man caught at a border crossing with 51 turtles including box turtles and terrapins taped to his body pleaded guilty Tuesday (the 1st of December 2015) to smuggling or attempting to smuggle more than 1,000 of the reptiles out of south-eastern Michigan.

Kai Xu would order turtles online and enter the U.S. to pick them up, then ship them to China or return with them to Ontario, Canada. It's illegal to export wildlife from the U.S. without a permit from the government. Xu "regularly deals in turtle shipments worth $30,000, $80,000 or $125,000," Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward said in a court filing. "In China, the turtles he smuggles are worth two to three times the amount he pays here."

The trader has been in custody since his arrest in summer 2014 in suburban Detroit. He pleaded guilty to six crimes in federal court in Ann Arbor and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each count.

Link to this web article online (English)


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