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Illegal trade spikes in rare South Asian turtle: Traffic

Published on May 23, 2014 7:01 PM

MANILA (AFP) - A South Asian turtle famed for its polka dot skin is under growing threat of extinction as demand for it as an exotic pet booms, a wildlife monitoring group warned on Friday.

Hundreds of the black spotted turtle are regularly discovered at airports around Asia, having been illegally smuggled in luggage aboard commercial passenger flights, Traffic said.

Some are little bigger than a hand, but they can sell for thousands of dollars on the black market.

"Illegal international trade of the black spotted turtle in Asia has escalated over recent years and immediate action is required to stem the flow," Traffic said as it released a report on the reptile's fate.

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