Australia

Buyer returns rare tortoise stolen from Australia zoo

File photograph of the stolen tortoise Image copyright Perth Zoo
Image caption The 10-year-old tortoise, above, was discovered missing from its enclosure last week

A stolen critically endangered tortoise has been returned to an Australian zoo after being sold on the black market.

The buyer handed the animal in after he realised its rarity, police said.

Officers described the man as a good Samaritan for ensuring the tortoise's return, saying he lost money in the transaction.

Perth Zoo keepers believed the 10-year-old radiated tortoise stolen was taken from its enclosure last Tuesday.

It is not the first time a radiated tortoise had gone missing from the zoo - two tortoises were stolen from the same enclosure in 2011.

Native to the island of Madagascar, radiated tortoises are critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Illegal poaching and habitat loss have rendered radiated tortoises critically endangered

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