Breaking! 1,100 Endangered Turtles & Tortoises Have Been Rescued From Breeding Farm In Spain; 3 People Arrested!

Photos from the Civil Guard.

Authorities confirmed yesterday that they dismantled “one of the largest international organizations dedicated to illegal trafficking of endangered species of turtle.”

The Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of the Civil Guard conducted the operation which resulted in the rescue of 1,100 turtles from 62 different species, 14 of which are considered to be near extinction, as well as more than 750 eggs; a number that will grow as more than 200 female turtles were laying or close to laying eggs at the time.

According to EFE Verde, three arrests were made and three other people are now under investigation in Mallorca and Barcelona. Two of the suspects apprehended were German citizens who were allegedly breeding land and water-based turtles in deplorable conditions at a “farm” in Llucmajor.

They face charges of smuggling protected species, crimes against flora and fauna, and money laundering.

Officials verified that the people in charge of the breeding farm were collaborating with the owner of an exotic pet store in Barcelona.

The operation reportedly began in February of last year, after agents of the Civil Guard of Palma Airport detected and subsequently seized a shipment of several box turtles of the coahuila species.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) technicians helped to identify the different species.

As per reports, the illegal trafficking of these species mainly affects those of Southeast Asia, where the box turtles came from. Among the turtles recovered, were protected species endemic to Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Tragically, turtles are killed for their skin, shells, and meat. Some people also consider turtle eggs to be a delicacy.

Sadly, turtles are among the most threatened major vertebrates on the planet: Out of a total of 365 recognized species, 148 are considered threatened by the criteria of the IUCN, in the categories of vulnerable, dangerous or dangerous critical. In recent history, 7 species and 3 subspecies of turtles have become extinct.

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