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Many of the turtles were too ill to be released in the wild
Many of the turtles were too ill to be released in the wild
 
  The turtles were destined for dining tables in China
The turtles were destined for dining tables in China
 
 
   
Internet Links
 
   
    Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
 
   
    BBC: Webguide to endangered species
 
   
    Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
 
   
       
   
 
Turtle trafficking

In Hong Kong, Kadoorie Wildlife Farm looks after what remains of an illegal shipment of 8,000 turtles seized on 11 December 2001. The confiscated turtles were smuggled to Macau by air from Thailand via Singapore, and then shipped to China destined for the illegal food trade.

It is estimated that the seizure is worth over HK$3.2 million and forms the largest catch of live turtles to date.

According to Idy Wong at Kadoorie Farm, "many of the turtles are injured and sick as they were smuggled in extremely poor conditions - they are dehydrated and were very cruelly packed on top of one another inside weak cardboard and polystyrene containers."

Ms Wong points out that, "the turtles were obviously caught in the wild as many of them have fish hooks still attached to their mouths and we know that many of the species are not being farmed."

"With this huge number of different turtle species taken away from the wild, the damage to the species' wild populations and disturbance to the ecological balance have already been done."
Over 1,000 of the seized turtles died of dehydration
Over 1,000 of the seized turtles died of dehydration
 

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