Swiss police officers have been looking for culprits suspected of stealing nine protected tortoises from a pet shop in Switzerland.
The young leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys pardalis) were reportedly stolen from the Swisstropicalfish pet shop in the municipality of Zuchwil, in the Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland on Tuesday, 10th January.
They reportedly had a shell length of between 6 and 12 centimetres (2.3 and 4.7 inches) and weighed between 20 and 40 grammes (0.04 and 0.09 lbs).
They were reportedly born in 2022.
A Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) certificate is required for the species’ purchase and sale, the German police said.
Leopard tortoises have been considered near-threatened in the wild in recent years because of poaching, hunting, and habitat loss, and are reportedly often traded on the black market.
The species is considered the fourth-largest tortoise species in the world and are inhabiting the savannas of eastern and southern Africa, from Sudan to the southern Cape.
Solothurn Cantonal Police officers said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “The owner suffered damage of more than CHF 2,000 (GBP 1,766) as a result of the theft.
“The police have started investigations against the offenders and are looking for witnesses in connection [with the incident].
“Anyone who can provide information on the offenders or the whereabouts of the stolen turtles is asked to contact the Solothurn Cantonal Police.”
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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