You Won't Believe What Was Hidden Inside These Large Wooden Crates.
Smugglers are always looking for ways to sneak things past airport security. People have tried to smuggle medicine, food, clothes, jewelry, money, and even animals to trade for money, or for their own personal use. In fact, you’d be surprised at the stuff that manages to get past customs. Back in January of 2018, smugglers tried smuggling the most interesting cargo into Hong Kong International Airport. But the cargo was big and aroused suspicion. So, airport security decided to take a look inside, and what they found turned out to be something unexpected, but at the same time, quite beautiful and alarming.
Working in airport security is interesting, especially when something unusual tries to get past customs.
Customs officials were curious about a series of flat shipping crates that had arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport. After studying the shipping label, one of the customs officials decided to take a look inside.
A series of small, plastic, semi-transparent boxes were lined up nice and neat inside each of the crates.
To the untrained eye, it looked like containers some restaurants give for takeout orders. But there were hundreds of animals packed inside these containers, and they were scurrying around, wondering what was going on.
Officials opened the boxes up and discovered that they were filled with a bunch of pig-nosed turtles.
Authorities estimated that there were almost 600 of these rare turtles, and they were being illegally trafficked. Fortunately, airport security got to them before the wildlife traffickers got their hands on them.
The creatures were thousands of miles away from home, and getting them back would be a challenge.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a rare occurrence for officials. These types of turtles have been rescued from smugglers before. But traffickers have repeatedly tried to smuggle the turtles into Hong Kong, and it was going to take months to prepare them for their return trip.
Since 2010, more than 35,000 pig-nosed turtles have been confiscated in Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Ironically, this vulnerable species is protected by Indonesian law, and can’t be traded. But smugglers still find ways to smuggle them out of their natural habitats. And given that they’re small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand, they’re virtually defenseless and rely on humanity for help.
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