Dozens of rare Her­mann’s tor­toises stolen in Cor­sica

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

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.

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