Galapagos Island Tortoises – Nearly 200 Tortoise found in a suitcase while being smuggled

At least 200 Galapagos Island Tortoises were found inside a suitcase at Galapagos Island Airport. The tortoises were discovered by the Seymour Airport staff on the island of Baltra.

The tortoises were all younger than 3 months and were wrapped inside plastic in the suitcase. The statement released by the airport revealed that the X-Ray machines found irregularities with a red-colored suitcase. Upon checking, 185 tortoises were found.

The tortoises were recovered and the survivors are currently receiving veterinary reviews.

The Island of Baltra is located around 600 miles away off the coast of Ecuador. Galapagos Island is a province of Ecuador.

Reports have confirmed that the destination of the tortoises was the Ecuadorian Port City of Guayaquil.

Galapagos Island Tortoises are considered endangered species. The species are protected by the Ecuadorian Government since 1970. However, the smuggling of these tortoises is quite frequent. These tortoises can live well beyond 100 years. In the black market, one can earn thousands of dollars for tortoises. The prison term for smuggling is mere 1 to 3 years though.

So far, no arrest has been made as per the statement. The National and Environmental Police are yet to conclude the investigation. However, people who checked in with the suitcase have been held for questioning and investigation.