Authorities confiscate hundreds of endangered turtles

(Apichart Weerawong / AP)
(Apichart Weerawong / AP)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Indonesian authorities have confiscated hundreds of endangered pig-nose turtles at an airport in the capital.

The head of Jakarta's conservation agency Awen Supranata said Monday that the 687 turtles had been held at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport since their arrival on March 15 from the easternmost province of Papua.

Supranata said the person who sent the turtles was not known, but he believed the turtles were destined for Europe or some Asian countries.

The turtle, scientifically known as Carettochelys insculpta, can be found in the freshwater streams, lagoons and rivers of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Their nickname comes from the large nostrils at the tip of their long, fleshy snouts.

Their biggest threats are the illegal animal trade, commercial fishing and egg and meat hunters.

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