Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Mexican authorities have seized 2,850 stolen turtle eggs from the luggage compartment of a public bus and arrested a man for crimes against biodiversity.
The discovery was made by authorities in the municipality of Arriaga, in the south-western Mexican state of Chiapas.
According to national news outlet Marcando Trayectoria, Federal police carried out a routine search on a public bus and found three boxes of turtle eggs in the luggage compartment.
According to national newspaper Excelsior, the police officers arrested a man, identified only as Jose L., on the charges of crimes against biodiversity and he has been placed at the disposal of the Federal Public Ministry
Reportedly the eggs were confirmed to be Olive Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known commonly as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
This type of turtle is famous for their unique mass nesting called arribada, during which thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
According to Marcando Trayectoria, Olive ridley turtles have little chance of reaching adulthood as they are part of the diet of various species at each stage of their growth and have been the target of indiscriminate hunting for decades.
According to the book ‘Turtles of the United States and Canada’, humans are classified as the leading threat to this species of turtle due to unsustainable egg collection, slaughtering nesting females on the beach, and harvesting adults at sea for commercial sale of the meat and hides.
The Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) told Excelsior that they have initiated an investigation into the incident.
According to the article 420 of the Federal Penal Code in Mexico, those who illegally capture, damage or deprive the life of any sea mammal could face up to nine years in jail.
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