Customs officials and soldiers have seized more than 4,500 endangered baby turtles along with tropical fish from a passenger van in Tak, northwest Thailand.
The van was stopped on the Mae Sot-Tak highway in Mae Sot district. northwestern province
Thai PBS reports that the seized turtles include 586 Indian star tortoises, 75 common snapping turtles and about 3,800 Japanese turtles.
The baby turtles were wrapped in green fine-mesh nets and packaged in four ventilated cardboard boxes. The boxes were found among the passengers’ luggage in the back of the van.
The driver claims that he received the four boxes from a Burmese man who paid for their delivery to an address in Bangkok, adding that he didn’t know what the boxes contained. Officials, not convinced, suspect the shipment of baby turtles might belong to an international wildlife trafficking gang. Investigations are continuing.