Smuggled Tortoises Rescued by Airport Workers

Customs workers at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport noticed a little movement in two bags. What they discovered was a stash of 300 tortoises.

Taped and hidden in shredded paper were 285 radiated tortoises, 15 spider tortoises, and one Madagascar tortoise, The Associated Press reports.

All are endangered species indigenous to the island of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa.

The bags were abandoned by a passenger who arrived on a flight from the African island of Mauritius. He escaped after seeing customs officials screening his luggage, according to AP.

Also inside the bags were two slabs of cannabis weighing about 4 1/2 pounds.

Wildlife department officials in Malaysia said the tortoises would be returned to Madagascar. According to AP, radiated tortoises are coveted by collectors and sold internationally as pets or food.
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