In Florida, hundreds of native turtles have been confiscated from poachers who had been documented collecting and trading over 4,000 wild turtles for six months. Fortunately, over 600 of these were returned to the wild—a rare outcome of cases like these. The two individuals charged in the bust were part of a larger smuggling ring illicitly exporting North American turtles to international buyers. The Turtle Conservancy commends the diligent work of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agents that led to the discovery and conviction of the poachers.
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If you know of anyone involved in the unlawful collection, transport, or sale of native turtles, you can help by reporting suspected wildlife violations to your individual state wildlife agencies.