A 32-YEAR-OLD man is under arrest for stealing four protected species of tortoise worth thousands of euros on the black market from a natural park in Inca on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca.
Staff from the park’s animal recovery centre reported the missing tortoises to the Guardia Civil last Saturday.
The Guardia said that two are a species found mainly in Madagascar and two are a species found in Asia. Both species are catalogued as at danger of extinction under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Given the amount of money they could fetch, there were major concerns the thief was intending to sell them and that the creatures’ lives could be at risk.
However investigations led to the identification and detention of the suspect and to the recovery of the tortoises from his home.
The Guardia said the 32-year-old had a record.