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Endangered tortoises seized at Thailand airport

Do you know about the tiny ploughshare tortoise? If you don’t, you should. There are only, maybe, 400 of them surviving in one corner of Madagascar and they could soon be all gone.

Last week, a man was arrested at Bangkok’s international airport with 54 tortoises, the largest ever seizure of the endangered animal.

Since the turtles were meant for the illegal pet trade and not consumption, they were still alive when confiscated.

The tortoises were flown from Madagascar to Nairobi and then to Bangkok.  

They are prized as a pet for their golden-dome shell.

The tortoise is at an extremely high risk of extinction and according to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Fund, it is the rarest tortoise in the world.

Wildlife experts have said that because of the tortoise’s small population, every single individual is invaluable to the survival of the species.

Raveena Aulakh is the Star's environment reporter. She is intrigued by climate change and its impact, now and long-term. Follow her on Twitter @raveenaaulakh


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