Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Galapagos Islands : About 200 baby tortoises found in a suitcase in | Al Jazeera

Galapagos Islands

Ecuadorian officials have arrested a police officer after they discovered 185 baby giant tortoises wrapped in plastic in a suitcase, preventing them from being smuggled out of the Galapagos Islands.

Officials said the discovery on Sunday was made during a routine check at the Seymour Airport, also known as the Galapagos Ecological Airport, on the Galapagos island of Baltra, which is part of Ecuador.

They were detected when the suitcase was X-rayed.

Jorge Rosillo, the airport manager, told the Associated Press news agency that airport authorities “stopped a shipment of 185 tortoises on the Santa Cruz island that was to be shipped to Guayaquil airport, we understand, for the trafficking of species”.

Ten of the tortoises were found dead, while five more died on Monday “possibly due to the stress they suffered after being separated from their habitat”, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment said in a statement.

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