Viral

MUMBAI (Web Desk) Indian custom officials on Monday say they have seized 146 endangered tortoises from an abandoned bag at Mumbai airport after noticing a strange smell.

Customs officials said the 139 Radiated and six Angonoka tortoises had been “wrapped inhumanly” in plastic bags.

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Two Radiated tortoises were found dead, with broken shells, but the rest were alive, officials said.

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The tortoises were being smuggled from Madagascar to Nepal, with Mumbai as a transit point, they added.

No arrests have been made so far.

Tortoise

Assistant Customs Commissioner Kiran Kumar Karlapu tweeted that only 600 Angonoka tortoises are left in the wild.

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Angonoka tortoises, also known as Ploughshare, are highly prized for their distinctive gold and black shells and fetch exceptionally high prices on the international black market.

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Officials said the tortoises would be sent back to Madagascar in accordance with Indian laws.