July 8, 2010 the already nineth import since 2002 of Hong Kong SAR confiscated turtles arrived at Amsterdam airport Netherlands. All Hong Kong animals are imported by the Turtle Survival Alliance Europe (TSA- Europe) and handed over to the European Associsation of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) and the European Studbook Foundation (ESF) as the TSA can not own animals.
All these rescue operations are a joint venture by the CITES Hong KONG SAR authorities, the Wild Animal Rescue Center of Kadoorie Farms and Botanic Gardens in Hong Kong where the turtles and tortoises are temporarily held, the TSA- Europe, the EAZA and the ESF. Export from Hong Kong is always carried out after intensive communication with TSA- USA and TSA- Europe. In good consultation the species and specimens are distributed between the USA and Europe and all animals are registered in captive studbook/ breeding programmes. Captive reproduction in order to establish and enlarge captive assurance colonies is the ultimate aim of the Turtle Ark.
The turtles and tortoises which are transferred to the ESF are placed in private studbook collections and are accompanied by an ESF contract. Recipients are contributing to the transport costs. Depending on the species, age, size and sex of the transport costs a calculation is made.
It must be clear that it is sometimes difficult to find a good solution for all animals and that the transport costs weigh heavy on the financial situation of the transport of the European Studbook Foundation. Not all costs can be passed on to the recipients.
The July 8 shipment was flown in to Amsterdam by KLM and contained 58 specimens of: Cuora galbinifrons, Cuora bourreti, Cuora amboÃ¯nensis, Heosemys grandis, Cyclemys dentata. Malayemys macrocephala and Astrochelys radiata. All are endangered to critically endangered species. These turtles and tortoises were sent to one EAZA Zoo in the UK and several ESF privates in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
In order to keep these rescue operations possible in the near future donations will be very welcomed. The ESF is a non profit foundation without members so totally depending on financial support from outside.
Donations can be done on the ING bank account:
ING banknr. : 7231120, BIC (=SWIFT) : INGBNL2A, IBAN : NL57INGB0007231120
on the name of Treasurer ESF in Schalkwijk, Netherlands.