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Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter, 2000, 5:14
© 2000 by Chelonian Research Foundation

Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter

Editors’ Comments on Recent Hong Kong Confiscations


On December 11, 2001 an illegal shipment of approximately 7,500 Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises was seized in Hong Kong en route from Singapore to China. Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden (KFBG) in Hong Kong received all the turtles for placement and enlisted the help of the recently launched IUCN Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) (see previous article). Working together, KFBG and TSA swung into action to save as many of these animals as possible. This was the first opportunity for TSA to help save confiscated turtles, and it happened to be one of the largest confiscations in history.

As of mid-January, four shipments have arrived in the United States, bringing approximately 3,200 animals; another 1000 animals have gone to Europe. All animals have been placed into Assurance colonies under the umbrella of TSA.

Those turtles brought to the United States were first processed and medically treated in Port St. Lucie, Florida at South Florida Reptile Exchange. Veterinarians, students, researchers, corporate employees, and many others rallied to spend their holidays trying to save these turtles. From Florida, the animals have been shipped all over the United States to join already established assurance colonies.

The next issue of TTN will have several articles on this topic. You may also visit www.turtlesurvival.org for further information.

For those of you who were directly involved, individuals and corporations — the editors and readers of TTN would like to extend our sincerest congratulations and deepest appreciation for your work on behalf of these turtles.