Chinese face deportation for eating rare tortoises

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Four Chinese nationals are facing deportation from Zimbabwe after they were arrested for killing more than 40 rare tortoises for meat, officials say.

Animal welfare officials said the men admitted charges of animal cruelty.

Investigators found the skeletal remains of 40 endangered Bell's Hinged tortoises, in a raid on the men's house.

They also reportedly recovered 13 live tortoises stored in steel drums without water or food.

Villagers in Bikita, in south-eastern Zimbabwe, said the reptiles were dropped alive into boiling water.

Tortoise meat was also recovered from the house, the Zimbabwe Herald reports.

The tortoise is listed as an endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Local officials say their numbers in the wild have dwindled in recent years.

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