Authorities at Jakarta Airport, Indonesia seize 687 endangered pig-nosed turtles

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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File photo of a pig-nosed turtle.
Image: Bjoertvedt.

Authorities announced yesterday that last month approximately 687 endangered pig-nosed turtles were seized at the Sorkarno-Hatta International Airport in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta. The turtles were reportedly destined for the city of Hong Kong, China.

Teguh Samudro the head of BKIMP, the Indonesian quarantine said yesterday: “The packages were broken when they arrived at the airport, so we could tell what was inside”; “We don’t know where they were being sent as the address on the package does not exist”. He noted the turtles are to be returned shortly to their native Papua habitat.

He went on to say that, “Violators of the 1992 law on animal, fish and plant quarantines or the 1990 law on biodiversity and ecosystem conservation face up to three years’ imprisonment and fines of up to Rp 150 million (US$15,400).” The person who sent the endangered turtles has not yet been identified.

The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora aims to ensure that international trade of animals and plants a risk of extinction are restricted, the pig-nosed turtle species are listed. They are at risk of extinction after having been smuggled for many years and the The Jakarta Post reports that 15 centimeter long adult pig-nosed turtles can get up to US$2,000 on the black market.