78 Rare Tortoises Stolen From Breeding Center
In this week’s crime blotter: a tortoise-taking scheme, bear paw sales, and a prison sentence for four pangolin traffickers.
It’s a mystery: 78 rare tortoises disappeared from a breeding center in Thailand, and it’s an open question as to where they went.
It was supposed to be a happy ending for the creatures, worth a total of $85,000 (three million baht). Authorities seized them from illegal wildlife traders and took them to Bang Phra Water Bird Breeding Station, a state-run facility in eastern Thailand’s Chon Buri province.
But the creatures and their cages' locks vanished on May 23. On Wednesday, the Bangkok Post reported, authorities removed Songklod Phuthong, the head of the facility, and replaced him with a senior forest official named Phadet Laithong. Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has launched an investigation into the theft.