What! How did those 79 turtles get into that package? No way, I didn’t cover them in pantyhose and try to smuggle them into China, Mr. Airport Worker — they must’ve crawled in there on their own. That’s the pretend defense we’re imagining after authorities at the Shanghai airport discovered a box full of illegal live turtles.
The Associated Press (via Buzzfeed) says the little guys were discovered when the box was scanned through security. The box had a return address of Japan, and apparently someone wanted to make sure the turtles made the trip safely. They were covered in nylon stockings, to provide ventilation and warmth, and also looked to be taped up, which could be a sign the sender was well-organized in the turtle-smuggling business.
They’re said to be Japanese pond turtles, which are a popular pet in that country. Rare species of turtles, scorpions and spiders have become the cool pet to have in China in recent years, which in turn, ups the imports of exotic animals.
According to quarantine rules, the turtles will be either returned (yay!) or destroyed (no!).