Smuggled pig-nosed turtles returned to Indonesia

AP News
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Posted: Oct 05, 2011 10:01 AM
Smuggled pig-nosed turtles returned to Indonesia

Hundreds of threatened pig-nosed turtles smuggled from Indonesia as part of the illegal pet trade have been returned home.

Forestry Ministry spokesman Masyhud says the 609 baby turtles were among more than 800 seized by authorities in Hong Kong earlier this year.

They arrived at Jakarta's international airport on Wednesday and will be sent on to their native habitat in easternmost Papua province.

The Carettochelys insculpta turtles got their nickname from the two large nostrils at the tips of their long, fleshy snouts.

They can found in the freshwater streams, lagoons and rivers of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The biggest threats they face come from the illegal animal trade, commercial fishing and egg and meat hunters.