‘Shocking’ scale of illegal trade in Indian star tortoise uncovered

Confiscated Indian Star Tortoises in government-run wildlife facility outside of Bangkok, Thailand

Confiscated Indian Star Tortoises in government-run wildlife facility outside of Bangkok, Thailand

From Mongabay.com

The Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is a little-known, but common, victim of illegal wildlife trade. In 2014, at least 55,000 wild tortoises were poached from just one “trade hub” in southern India, a recent study published in Nature Conservation has uncovered.

“We were most shocked at the sheer scale of the illegal trade in this species,” Neil D’Cruze, lead author from the University of Oxford and Head of Research at World Animal Protection, UK, told Mongabay. “A great deal of suffering is involved too — stuffed into sacks and suitcases, cracked shells stress and associated disease is rife and many do not survive the arduous smuggling process.”

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Max Maurer

Turtle Conservancy, 49 Bleecker Street, Suite 601, New York, NY, 10012, United States