February 9, 2023

They investigate possible poaching of endangered turtles in Galapagos

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(CNN) — Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday that it has opened an investigation into the deaths of four giant tortoises in the Galapagos archipelago, amid accusations that the endangered animals have been poached for their meat.

A special unit for environmental crimes (UNIMEN) traveled to the islands, which are approximately 965 kilometers (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, prosecutors announced.

Credit: RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP via Getty Images

The team is made up of experts in animal necropsy and detectives who interview park rangers, the police said. attorney general on Twitter.

Galapagos giant tortoises are among the longest-living animals on the planet and were extensively investigated by the English biologist Charles Darwin in the 19th century.

Turtle hunting is illegal under Ecuadorian law, and the Galapagos Islands have been protected as a national park since the 1960s.

However, turtle meat is also considered a delicacy by wildlife hunters and, according to the NGO Galapagos Conservancya US-based non-profit organization that focuses on the sustainable development of the archipelago, more than 15 animals have been found dead in the Galapagos since last year, raising fears that the animals are being targeted. of a wildlife trafficking network.





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