Tortoises Found In Suitcase In Galapagos Airport

Tortoises Found In Suitcase In Galapagos Airport Image Credti: Aeropuerto Ecologico de Galapagos

185 TORTOISES found hidden in a suitcase in a Galapagos airport

Border Security officers on the Galapagos Islands made the astonishing discovery of 185 tortoises piled inside a suitcase that was being smuggled to the Ecuadorian mainland, according to local authorities. The Ministry of Environment tweeted that the reptiles were found “during a routine inspection” and that police were now investigating the matter.

Giant turtles are one of the main attractions for tourists to the Galapagos Islands and the island itself is a protected wildlife area; as such, penalties for trying to smuggle out any of the local flora or fauna are steep, ranging from one to three years in prison.

According to the ministry, the turtles found at the airport were all still babies at roughly three months old; they were packed inside a red suitcase which was stuffed with plastic to prevent them from moving around. Unfortunately, ten of the turtles died.

A statement from airport officials on Baltra said that the suitcase was registered by transport form and its contents were listed as “souvenirs”.

On Twitter, Environment Minister Marcelo Mata blasted “these crimes against Ecuadorans’ wild fauna and natural heritage.”

The Galapagos Islands lie 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) west of Ecuador. The archipelago was made famous by British geologist and naturalist Charles Darwin’s observations on evolution after visiting the islands.


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Written by

Sarah Keane

Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.