Suitcase with 185 turtles discovered at Galapagos airport

Suitcase with 185 turtles discovered at Galapagos airport

First modification: 03/28/2021 – 23:06
Last modification: 03/28/2021 – 23:04

Turtles in a park in the Galapagos Islands on June 15, 2020
Turtles in a park on the Galapagos Islands on June 15, 2020 – Galapagos National Park / AFP / Archives

Quito (AFP) – Representatives of the airport and the Galapagos National Park (PNG) detected some 185 specimens of turtles in a suitcase to be taken from the archipelago to the Ecuadorian mainland, the environmental authority reported on Sunday.

“At the #Baltra airport, 185 newborn turtles were detected in a suitcase that was heading to mainland Ecuador,” the Ministry of the Environment posted on Twitter.

The Galapagos Islands are located 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador and have unique flora and fauna in the world.

The Ministry of the Environment reported that the finding occurred “during a routine inspection between @aerogalapagos and @parquegalapagos,” and without providing further details, it warned that the Police and Prosecutor’s Office “are taking action.”

The archipelago, which served as a natural laboratory for the English scientist Charles Darwin’s theory on the evolution of species, takes its name from the gigantic turtles that live there.

Minister Marcelo Mata, in the same social network, rejected “these crimes against wildlife and the natural heritage of Ecuadorians.”

The official added that he trusts that the events that occurred in this ecosystem, which is part of the biosphere reserve, “will be sanctioned with all the rigor in accordance with current regulations.”

The illegal trafficking of wildlife is a crime that includes a prison term of one to three years, according to Ecuadorian law.

Giant tortoises arrived three to four million years ago in that volcanic region in the Pacific.

It is believed that the marine currents dispersed their specimens across the islands, and that was how 15 different species were created -of which three are formally extinct- each adapted to its territory.

Read the original coverage via France24 at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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