Illegally traded reptiles were destined for Europe or Asia, authorities say.
Nearly 700 endangered Pig-nosed turtles were confiscated at Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 15, according to news reports.
Awen Supranata, the head of the Jakarta Natural Resources Center, believes the turtles were destined for Europe or Asia as part of an illegal pet trade, the Associated Press reported.
The person responsible for shipping the 687 turtles remains under investigation, Supranata told AP. (Related: "Six Bizarre Animal Smuggling Busts.")
These rare freshwater turtles can be found only in northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea. Due to illegal trade, fishing, and hunting, the reptiles are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Source: National Geographic