Perhilitan returns seized tortoises to Madagascar

Four hundred and fifteen protected species of Madagascar tortoises, seized at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in July, were returned to the country of origin, two days ago.

The tortoises comprised the Astrochelys radiata, Astrochelys yniphora and Pyxis arachnoids species.

In a statement today, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) said the tortoises were returned, in adherence to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Management Authoriy of Malaysia.

In July, customs officers detained two women and seized the tortoises which were hidden in two bags.

According to the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network website, on July 20, the women were each sentenced to a year’s jail under Section 10 (a) of the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008.

They were the first to be prosecuted under the Act which came into force on June 28.

In another statement, Perhilitan said it raided a shop and seized a three-month-old tiger cub at the Simpang Chini-Tun Razak Highway, Pekan.

The cub was sent to the Melaka Zoo.