Hong Kong will return 36 turtles seized from smugglers back to the Philippines. They include 20 rare "Siebenrockiella leytensis" pond turtles and 16 South Asian box turtles.
Airport authorities seized the turtles in February after a flight from Manila.
From GMA News:
Thirty-six turtles seized from smugglers, including 20 of one of the world's rarest species, are to be returned from Hong Kong to the Philippines, an official said Wednesday. It will mark the first time a protected Philippine species seized from the illegal wildlife trade abroad has been returned, Philippine environment department deputy chief Luz Corpuz told AFP. Wildlife authorities in Hong Kong will hand the 20 pond turtles and 16 South Asian box turtles to Philippine enforcement officers on Friday, she said. "They are Philippine species, and returning them back to their natural habitat is a big accomplishment for our conservation efforts," Corpuz said of the Philippine pond turtles, which are found only in the island of Palawan.