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Something to smile about

25 May 2012

turtles198x143After being discovered hidden inside a smuggler’s bag in Hong Kong, 18 critically endangered Philippine Forest Turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis) have been returned home to the Island of Palawan in the Philippines.

The 18 turtles were found alongside various other reptiles including box turtles, lizards and snakes. The turtles were handed over to the Katala Foundation, one of our partners in our Philippines Programme.

The turtles will remain in quarantine for the next few months and released back into the wild once they have been given a clean bill of health.

Turn over of turtles to Sabine KFI2

This is the first recovery of this species and the first ever repatriation for the Philippines. It is a step in the right direction for this extremely rare reptile.

The Philippine Forest Turtle is found only in Palawan and is the flagship species of the Philippine Freshwater Turtle Conservation Program, run by the Katala Foundation.

These turtles are at risk from the illegal wildlife trade, with poaching occurring for the exotic pet trade, meat and medicine.

For the past few years we have been supporting Katala’s work which is researching the ecology of the species, providing essential information to aid conservation efforts.

Philippine Forest Turtle - Chester Zoo

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