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Tortoises Worth $300,000 Sized in Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Malaysian customs foiled an attempt to smuggle hundreds of the world’s most endangered tortoises into the country from Madagascar, a senior official said Monday.

The 330 plowshare and radiated tortoises seized at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Sunday were worth $276,784, Abdul Wahid Sulong, deputy director of the customs department told AFP.

All of the reptiles were found alive, he added.

“It is a big haul. It could be for the local market or for re-export. We are investigating,” the enforcement agency said in a statement.

“Based on a public tip-off, customs officials raided the cargo area of the airport and found five suspicious crates,” the statement added.

“It had arrived at KLIA on an Etihad Airways flight from Antananarivo airport in Madagascar.”

The golden-domed plowshare tortoise is native to Madagascar and due to poaching is the most endangered tortoise on the planet.
Madagascar’s radiated tortoise — considered one of the most beautiful species of the animal — is also rapidly nearing extinction due to rampant hunting for its meat and the illegal pet trade.

Abdul Wahid said the contents of the crates were labeled as stones and the address of the recipient was found to be false.

Malaysia bans the import of critically endangered animals. Anyone found guilty of the offense can be jailed for up to three years and fined.

Elizabeth John, a senior communications officer of the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (Traffic), said the tortoise haul followed on the heels of other busts of animal products originating from Africa, including rhino horn and pangolin scales.

“With the string of recent seizures of wildlife from Africa, Malaysian enforcement agencies are sending a strong warning to smugglers that they mean business,” she told AFP.

John said the routes used by traffickers in recent cases point to a need for greater scrutiny of airports in the Middle East.

 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WVB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Animals

Eleven pandas babies unveiled to the public in a research center

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The Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation has unveiled to the public the results of a year of breeding, eleven births.

Eleven little pandas were presented to the public, including three pairs of twins.

Rather unruly, the pandas did not stay in line to be fed, and preferred to walk around the photographers.

The Chengdu research center in Sichuan province (south-west China) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. In its beginnings, the center accommodated only six pandas in bad shape.

Since then, 189 pandas have been born.

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Animals

This dog pays for its treats with real dollars

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Why do little tricks when you can pay for his treats with tickets? That’s what Holly, a black lab has become, is very good at collecting money.

“It started when Holly was just a puppy,” said Casi Cook, who adopted Holly at The Dodo. She got into the habit of stealing things from our bags, including tickets. Instead of pursuing her throughout the house to retrieve them, they tried to bribe her with sweets. ”

The bitch quickly realized that in exchange for a dollar, she could recover biscuits. In addition to the tickets he gets, Holly likes to steal tickets. According to her owners, she would already have 87 dollars in her personal piggy bank.

Holly also understood that a torn note was worthless and takes care of his fortune!

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Animals

A parrot places an order on Amazon!

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A parrot managed to place an order on Amazon via the voice giant of the US digital giant imitating the voice of its owner in London, reports the British newspaper The Sun Wednesday.

When questioned by the British tabloid,  the owner of the parrot did not recall ordering gift boxes worth 10 pounds.  And for good reason. After excluding her husband and eight-year-old son as prospective buyers, the 39-year-old South African resident in south-east London discovered the culprit: Buddy, her 5-year-old parrot from Gabon.

The bird imitated her voice in her absence to activate the device and proceed with the purchase which, according to an Amazon spokesman quoted in the Sun, can be refunded.

“I could not believe it when I realized that Buddy had placed an order on Amazon. We have owned the device for four months and I only use it for music or to-do lists, but I never ordered anything online, “Corienne said.

Besides the possibility to place orders on Amazon, the connected device, Alexa, also allows to control the heating of the house, to control the mobile phone, to check the weather, etc.

Buddy has since been filmed by its owner. The video shows him activating the device by shouting “Alexa” before adding “Oh, hmmm, stay in line, Alexa”.

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