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Smuggled rare Ploughshare tortoises go on display for first time in UK

Discussion in 'Radiated and Ploughshare tortoises' started by Cowboy_Ken, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Smuggled rare Ploughshare tortoises go on display for first time in UK
    February 25, 2017, BBCA

    The ploughshare tortoises were handed to Chester Zoo in 2012 after being confiscated by Hong Kong customs officials in 2009.
    Regarded as the most threatened species of tortoise, say zoo bosses, they are native to Madagascar.

    Dr Gerardo Garcia, of the zoo, said they were the "jewel in the crown of the reptile world".

    Prized for their distinctive gold and black shells, they fetch "exceptionally high prices on the international black market", a spokesman said.

    Efforts to steal the animals are so relentless there may only be 500 left, making it one of the rarest animals in the world, he added.

    Dr Garcia said there was a "very real possibility the species could be lost forever due to illegal trafficking for the exotic pet trade".
    "Most of these illegally exported tortoises are sold in markets in South East Asia," he explained.

    The quartet were part of a shipment of 13 being smuggled from Madagascar and will form part of the European Breeding Programme for the species.

    They are going on display at the zoo to raise awareness of the illegal exotic pet trade.

    Worth £15bn ($19bn) a year, it is the fourth biggest international crime after drugs, arms and human trafficking, a zoo spokesman said.
  2. eric joranson

    eric joranson Well-Known Member

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    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    is there a link to see photos of them?
  3. SarahChelonoidis

    SarahChelonoidis Well-Known Member

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    Cowboy_Ken, PJay, 8james8 and 2 others like this.
  4. 8james8

    8james8 Active Member

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    Amazing opportunity to see a very unique species.
  5. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I'm glad they are going to have them in a breeding program. I think the government should round up the ones left in the wild, so they will survive, start a breed and release program and when there's so many, that their value drops, start releasing them back to their home land
    8james8 likes this.
  6. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Unfortunately, I think this would just contribute to more illegal capture and selling. With the introduction of a government body I see, would likely further add more complications, towards the negative in regard towards this issue.
  7. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I'm not so sure…but I'll check for ya
  8. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Possibly.
  9. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    They are just fantastic looking creatures! Never seen such a high domed carapace! I wish them the very best of luck for their future.
  10. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    They are absolutely beautiful animals... Amazing in person.

    IMG_3596.JPG

    The Holiday card I got from the Turtle Conservancy seems appropriate...

    IMG_4989.JPG
  11. emystiong

    emystiong Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Good to know that another Zoo is working with the sp . But the idea of putting such rare sp on display ........ rather than breeding full time !

    Pro - cashing in on the rare-ness and thus draw crowd and create awareness of its rare-ness and status in the wild .A big plus on the conservation of this sp . ( really cashing in , in term of soliciting donation )

    Con ( my view ) - Let some " oversea visitor" know how beautiful it actually was and when they get back home , set out to seek one or more into their collection !

    I have posted less , due to not wanting unwanted attention which may endangered my herd .


    Cheers
  12. emystiong

    emystiong Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1488280625.650946.jpg

    At least In captive for 8 years ( 2017 - 2009 ) weren't they in " professional " care since 2009 ? And they are these " small " in size ? And the uneveness on the shell after their initial growth after capture ( the outer darker are the growth after the center yellow scute )


    Makes one wonder ? Display to really "Cash in " on the rareness before they are gone or ................

    Cheers
  13. Sterant

    Sterant Member

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    Good to hear from you Sam. Keep up your good work.
  14. skottip

    skottip Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Still, no one will trade me one for my left testicle!
    Anyfoot and 8james8 like this.
  15. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Try you right, there in more of a demand. :D
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