Endangered Tortoises Saved

Fifteen endangered tortoises worth up to £4,500 have been discovered by UK Border Agency officers at Stansted Airport after a passenger tried to smuggle them into the country.

On Sunday 8 May, a 54-year-old woman from Plymouth was arrested when she returned from Morocco following a holiday.

The spur-thighed tortoises (Testudo graeca) were found still alive, but underweight and infested with tics, in three cardboard boxes that had been placed in a bag in the hold of the aircraft.

The woman was released on bail while UK Border Agency enquiries continue.

Malcolm Bragg, UK Border Agency Assistant Director of Criminal and Financial Investigations, said: "The illicit trade in endangered animals is a serious contributory factor to the threat of extinction faced by many endangered species.

"This seizure demonstrates the UK Border Agency takes its role in enforcing international agreements and prohibitions designed to protect the natural environment very seriously."

 Further inquiries by UK Border Agency officers revealed the tortoises did not have the necessary accompanying paperwork and permits.

The tortoises have survived their ordeal and are currently being cared for in quarantine while plans are drawn up for them to be re-housed.

Recently Played Tracks

On Radio: Margherita Taylor

10am - 1pm

Email the show

Text 'HEART' to 82122

Margherita Taylor

On TV: Club Classics: '90 - '99

9am - 2pm

Watch heart TV

  • Mantronix Got To Have Your Love

    Now

    iTunes

  • MC Hammer U Can't Touch This

    09:59

    iTunes

  • Vanilla Ice Ice Ice Baby

    09:55

    iTunes

  • Beats International/Lindy Layton Dub Be Good To Me

    09:51

    iTunes

sky, scandal What to Watch

Discover more about new US drama Scandal on Sky Living, get the lowdown on this season's unmissable TV, and win Sky free for a year.

Heart VIP

Bingo

Local

Spring Weather Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Wedding Wedding Directory

Tying the knot? Check out local companies who can make your big day unforgettable.

Follow Heart on Twitter