Dozens of rare Hermann’s tortoises stolen in Corsica
Ajaccio, France - A turtle conservation park on the French island of Corsica is asking the public for help after 56 rare Hermann’s tortoises, considered a nearly threatened species, were stolen from the site.
The A Cupulatta park in Vero, about 30km northeast of Ajaccio, issued its appeal on Facebook after discovering the missing adult tortoises, recognisable by their distinctive black-and-yellow shells.
‘These tortoises cannot be legally sold so can only be destined for trafficking’, the park wrote.
It also warned that wild turtle populations could be at risk if the Hermann’s were stolen by anti-zoo activists who might be planning to release the tortoises.
‘They could contaminate wild populations with fatal germs, since they’ve been kept in captivity for a long time and have been exposed to animals and people which wild turtles aren’t used to seeing’, the park said. ‘Share this message: The turtles may still be in Corsica’, it added.
Police officials have opened an inquiry, according to the local prosecutor Eric Bouillard.