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Hundreds of Endangered Tortoises Seized in Anti-Trafficking Operation in Madagascar

  17 Juin      11        Society (33536),


Antananarivo, 17/06/2024 (MAP) – In a concerted effort to combat the illegal trafficking of endangered species, authorities in Madagascar have intercepted more than 300 radiated tortoises near the capital city of Antananarivo. The operation, led by the Gendarmerie, targeted traffickers smuggling these precious reptiles, which are critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.

According to a statement released by the Gendarmerie on Monday, a patrol discovered baby tortoises packed in plastic bags in Sabotsy Namehana, located 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Antananarivo. Despite the interception, the perpetrators managed to evade capture, prompting an ongoing investigation into the incident.

« These tortoises, vital to the ecosystem and endemic to Madagascar, were intercepted as part of our ongoing efforts to protect our natural heritage, » remarked a spokesperson from the forestry department, which has been tasked with caring for the confiscated animals.

Madagascar, renowned for its unique biodiversity, has increasingly become a focal point for wildlife trafficking. Despite efforts by the Ministry of Environment to implement stringent measures, the illegal trade in endangered species continues unabated.

A report jointly issued by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealed alarming statistics, documenting over 11,000 radiated tortoises seized between 2000 and 2014. The magnitude of the issue escalated in 2018, when authorities seized over 10,000 tortoises in a single operation near the southwestern town of Toliara.

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