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Snakes, turtles seized in Battambang

Cambodian authorities have seized nearly half a ton of live pythons and turtles that were being smuggled from Thailand to Vietnam, a wildlife conservationist group said on May 1. The animals, which included 11 reticulated pythons, 13 Burmese pythons and 257 turtles, were confiscated on April 28 in Battambang province, the Wildlife Alliance said. Most of the animals had been “illegally collected (in Cambodia) and had been moved to a large-scale holding facility in Thailand before eventually being shipped to Vietnam through Cambodia,” the group said in a statement. Weighing 418.5 kilograms, the haul of creatures included Asian box turtles, Malayan snail-eating turtles, black marsh turtles, 12 threatened yellow-headed temple turtles, and two red-eared slider turtles. The animals were confiscated from a Chevrolet pick-up truck with military license plates, the group said, adding that a 32-year-old military lieutenant was being questioned. (AFP)

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