Peruvian authorities rescued 29 endangered Galapagos tortoises that were en route to be sold on the European black market, the National Forest and Wildlife Service (Serfor) said in a news release on Wednesday, April 19.
“They only exist on the Galapagos Islands and it is the first time we’ve seize this species. It’s very rare,” said Jessica Galvez-Durand, the director of wildlife management at Serfor.
Two of the tortoises died due to poor conditions. The tortoises from Ecuador were wrapped in tape and found in a box on a bus. Officials discovered them while investigating wildlife trafficking from Peru to the European black market.