SHELL-SHOCKED: Police in Spain open slow-moving investigation

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Guardia Civil
SHELL-SHOCKED: Police with some of the recovered tortoises

THE owner of a tortoise hatchery has been arrested in Spain for the illegal trafficking of a protected species.

Officers from the Guardia Civil found a hatchery with 89 tortoises in San Pedro del Pinatar, in Murcia, southern Spain.

The 48-year-old owner was arrested and more than 89 specimens of protected species, whose possession, reproduction in captivity and commercialisation, without authorisation, is prohibited.

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The investigation began last January when police became aware of a protected Radiata tortoise, a protected species, being offered for sale.

Among the animals seized was an Aldabra giant tortoise, with a weight close to 60 kilos and 60 centimetres in diameter. The male specimens can reach up to 250 kilos in weight and a span of more than one metre.

Officers found equipment for the incubation of the eggs and terrariums.

The 89 live tortoises were taken into custody.

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