Turtles are saved – level 3
More than four thousand endangered turtles have been rescued in the Philippines. The Philippine forest turtles, believed to be bound for the illegal pet trade in China, were found in a warehouse on Palawan Island. The creatures had been stuffed inside crates when an animal conservation group came to their rescue.
“They were transported to the south, kept in warehouses and in very, very poor condition and were awaiting shipment to, most probably, to China for the pet trade, as it looks.
They are in terrible conditions. They were kept for quite a while.”
At least 90 turtles were found dead and a thousand had to be treated at the nature park. The group said they’d be released back to their natural habitat once they were healthy enough, but warned that illegal smuggling was on the rise.
“The trade has increased, and it’s easier to get these guys because there are so many. There is a high demand, mainly from east China countries for pet trade mainly, but there is also food trade and traditional Chinese medicine.”
The turtles can sell for at least £200 on the underground market in China, while some illegal traders are able to sell them to western countries for as much as £1,500.
Difficult words: bound for (moving somewhere, meant for something), crate (box), habitat (a place where an animal lives), smuggle (to move something illegally), on the rise (increasing), guy (a general term for many things).
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