Vietnam police seize 1,000 stuffed endangered sea turtles

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More than a thousand sea turtle corpses were found at two warehouses in Nha Trang on Wednesday afternoon. Photo provided by police. More than a thousand sea turtle corpses were found at two warehouses in Nha Trang on Wednesday afternoon. Photo provided by police.

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Nha Trang police said they spent all of Thursday counting and classifying more than a thousand stuffed sea turtles which they seized the day before from two downtown warehouses.
On Wednesday afternoon, police unexpectedly stumbled upon the two warehouses in Phuoc Dong Ward, where they discovered and seized more than a thousand specimens of the endangered species.
The turtles weighed around 1,359 kilos in total, police said.
Many of their preserved carcasses were discovered to contain tracking chips implanted by scientists who had hoped to study the rare animals.
Police say the two warehouses belong to owned by Hoang Tuan Hai and represent the largest illegal taxidermy operation they've ever discovered.
Hai, 42, admitted to having hired a crew to hunt the creatures down.
The staff of at his two warehouses then slaughtered the animals, gutted them and soaked their shells and skins in a chemical preservative. 
Hai allegedly planned to sell the preserved bodies as "handicrafts."
Police said they have temporarily handed the confiscated remains over to the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute.

Preserved carcasses of sea turtles found in a warehouse in Nha Trang. Photos courtesy of Lao Dong

 

 

 

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