You Won't Believe What Was Hidden Inside These Large Wooden Crates.
In January 2018, the Hong Kong International Airport seized shipment of these turtles three times.
Over 2,000 pig-nosed turtles were rescued during these three separate incidents alone. But they’re in such high demand, that smugglers continue to try, and it doesn’t bode well for these harmless looking creatures.
The turtles are often kept as pets, but in some cases, the reasons for acquiring them are sinister.
They’re used in traditional Eastern medicine. However, other times, the turtles will be turned into a delicacy so people can consume them. According to the International Animal Rescue (IAR), pig-nosed turtle eggs are often taken in Papua New Guinea and put in incubators to hatch more turtles.
Fortunately, these turtles had a happy ending when a group effort allowed the turtles to return home.
It was a three-day journey home and members from Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong, IAR Indonesia, the World Wildlife Fund Indonesia, and government officials in Hong Kong and Indonesia worked together to make the trip back possible.
The turtles flew 5 hours from Hong Kong to Jakarta, Indonesia, and 9 hours to Papua New Guinea.
Then they were driven for 10 hours, placed on a boat, and taken to the area where they were designated to be released. Fortunately, every turtle made it safe and sound. Community members in the area all played a hand to ensure the repatriation went smoothly.
Everyone smiled as they held the turtles in the palm of their hands and prepared for the main event.
They all stood in a line along the Kao River, located in southern Papua New Guinea, and took photos shortly before they released the turtles back into the wild, where they will hopefully get to lead a normal life.
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