The sometimes horrific treatment of wildlife to be sold as pets
For those who wish to keep tortoises as pets, you should be aware of how some of these creatures have crossed international borders.
Recently, 331 Greek tortoises (Testudo graeca), piled in only six burlap sacks, were seized in Jordan.
Currently listed under Appendix II on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and as vulnerable (VU) at the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Greek tortoise is threatened by illegal harvesting for the pet trade, as well as habitat loss and degradation.
It wasn’t the only wildlife uncovered in this sting. A sub-adult striped hyena, a chukar, and a small deer were also found at the house of a man who apparently raises endangered species for living. The hyena was stuck in a small cage, its front left paw bent with no space to move and a heavy metal chain around its neck.
On a tip, the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN) alerted the Environmental Police and the New Hope Centre of Al Ma'wa (a Princess Alia Foundation project) to address the situation.
The man was arrested and will be tried in court.
The tortoises and other species were turned over to a nearby rehabilitation center. All are making recoveries, including the deer.
The IFAW office in Dubai has been working with the Princess Alia Foundation and RSCN on preventing wildlife trafficking and educating students about why wildlife should be kept in the wild. This case proves that the problem is real, and the work we do is desperately needed.