Abandoned boat full of rare animals is recovered
An abandoned ship packed with rare and endangered species floated for days off the coast of China, until a foul odor eminating from the vessel alerted nearby boats to its presence. On-board, police found over 200 crates packed with such animals as monitor lizards, leatherback turtles, Brazilian turtles, and pangolins. Four crates containing 21 bear paws were also discovered. It's believed that the animals were all destined to be turned into dinner in China's southern province of Guangdong, which is famous for its exotic cuisine.
The rescued animals were immediately taken to the nearby Guangdong Wild Animal Protection Centre. Most were alive, but many were close to death from dehydration. Rescue workers continue to work to revive and care for them, and are awaiting word from authorities on what to do with the animals when they're once again healthy.
All the animals involved in this incident are critically-endangered and banned from international trade, yet restaurants in China routinely and openly feature them on menus. China officials have made international commitments to crack down on trade in endangered and threatened animal species, but minor penalties and fines for perpetrators are little deterrent. There's slim chance any arrests will be made in this case, as the abandoned boat had been stripped of all identification.
To read more, visit: 'Noah's Ark' of 5,000 rare animals found floating off the coast of China