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Perhilitan Killed 2,981 Tiny Turtles They Seized From Two Tourists at KLIA2, Here’s Why



Source: NBC & FMT

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On 20th August, the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) rescued five elephants that were trapped in an abandoned gold mine. A video of the rescue mission went viral with many praising them for their good deed.

However, things have turned around as Perhilitan recently killed 2,981 baby red-eared slider turtles! If they look familiar, that’s because these are the turtles we commonly used to keep as pets!

Source: Sea Grant

The department even defended itself by claiming that the law does not allow anyone to keep the little creatures that they described as invasive alien species (IAS). According to Convention on Biological Diversity, invasive alien species are “species whose introduction and/or spread outside their natural past or present distribution threatens biological diversity”.

Perhilitan director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hassan said that “the mass euthanasia on confiscated live animals was allowed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which Malaysia became party to in 1978”.

Source: FMT

These pet turtles were seized by customs officials at KLIA2 in June this year from two Indian tourists who flew in from China. The disposal of the creatures sent wildlife veterinarians in an outrage.

A spokesman for the group said that slaughtering the turtles was an inhumane act, and mentioned that “disposing of them individually would have been more respectful”, reported Free Malaysia Today.

He also added that it’s not that hard to care for the seized turtles as all they need are a few large PVC tanks.

“All that’s needed are several large PVC tanks and running water. I could have purchased those on my own. So I don’t see how an organisation like Perhilitan couldn’t,” he said.

Source: FMT

Meanwhile, Perhilitan director said that they had asked China if they wanted the animals back. However, they proceeded with the killing when they didn’t receive a response. Furthermore, there weren’t any requests from museums or research institutes for the turtles.

He also said that keeping the turtles captive could lead to the spread of disease and can endanger local species.

“As this species is a controlled species under Act 716, their release into the wild is inappropriate and can endanger local species. They also do not have any conservation value in Malaysia,” he said.

The turtles were buried following Perhilitan’s standard operating procedures.

The 2,981 baby turtles weren’t the only ones that were killed as they were among 5,255 other turtles that were confiscated by customs. 2,274 had died when they were handed over to Perhilitan in July, so altogether, 5,255 red-eared sliders that were confiscated died.

While the turtles may have been an “invasive alien species”, they are still innocent creatures. What do you think of this action?


Also read: Five Elephants Trapped in Mud-Filled Gold Mine Rescued in 6-Hour Mission by Pahang PERHILITAN

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