A probable case of animal trafficking has been detected at the airport of Mauritius this week.
130 baby tortoises coming from Madagascar have been seized at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport this week by officers of Airports of Mauritius (AML).
This was discovered when the luggage of an individual travelling from Madagascar was scanned. When the officers of AML found the turtles, they informed the police and customs officers. The services of veterinarians were also sought to determine the species of the animals. An objection to departure has been issued against the person in question; however, the latter denies ownership of the luggage.
It is unknown as to how the tortoises remained undetected at the airport of Madagascar.
In a statement to DefiMedia.info, the Conservation Director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Dr Vikash Tatayah, explains that Mauritius is a focal point for the illegal commerce of animals linking Africa, Madagascar, and Asian countries; apparently, there is a great demand for tortoises from Madagascar. According to the director, the selling of Radiated Tortoises, Ploughshare Tortoises, and Pyxis Tortoises is a lucrative business.
It is to be noted that customs officers at the Mumbai-based international airport of Chhatrapati Shivaji found 146 baby tortoises carried by someone who was in transit to Mumbai after having left Madagascar and transiting in Mauritius.