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Sat, July 20

1,529 live turtles and tortoises found in abandoned luggage

Included in the find were Star Tortoise, Redfoot Tortoise, Sulcata Tortoise, and Red-eared Slider species. (Bureau of Customs NAIA)

Included in the find were Star Tortoise, Redfoot Tortoise, Sulcata Tortoise, and Red-eared Slider species. (Bureau of Customs NAIA)

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(Bureau of Customs NAIA)

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine authorities said Monday that they found more than 1,500 live exotic turtles stuffed inside luggage at Manila’s airport.

The various types of turtles were found Sunday inside four pieces of left-behind luggage of a Filipino passenger arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on a Philippine Airlines flight from Hong Kong, Customs officials said in a statement.

The 1,529 turtles were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit, the statement said.

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(Bureau of Customs NAIA)

Convictions for the illegal trading of wildlife are punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to 200,000 pesos ($3,861).

In 2018, Philippine authorities turned over to the DENR a total of 560 wildlife and endangered species, including 250 geckos and 254 corals smuggled through air parcels, baggage and shipments, according to the statement.

See more photos by Bureau of Customs NAIA agents

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