(via SERFOR peru & WTHR nbc )
29 highly endangered Galapagos tortoises, were found wrapped in plastic tape in a cardboard box on a bus from Northern Peru to Lima.
Peruvian wildlife officials were alerted to this bus as part of a larger investigation into a wildlife trafficking ring funneling animals to Europe for sale.
These young Galapagos tortoises are no longer found in the wild outside of the Galapagos islands and despite progress, they continue to head towards extinction. 2 of the 29 tortoises did not survive. The others have been taken back to Ecuador to be cared for by veterinarians and returned to their home on the islands.
An important part of supporting turtles and tortoises around the world is understanding the realities they face at the hands of humans. The trafficking of wildlife is one of the greatest threats to the turtle and tortoise population worldwide. It’s one of the most lucrative organized criminal activities and we, far too frequently, perpetuate it with our Wallets and best intentions. Be aware and cautious, adopt, and support organizations working to stop the illegal trade that’s wiping out the wild populations of our shell friends.