A collection of 1,529 live tortoises and terrapins has been rescued from a smuggler’s luggage in the Philippines.
The exotic species were spread across four bags owned by one passenger travelling from Hong Kong.
The species included star, redfoot and sulcata tortoises as well as red-eared terrapins and were worth around €76,500 on the illegal wildlife market.
The creatures were discovered after the bags were X-rayed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.
The Filipino traveller who owned the bags left them unclaimed in the arrivals area, but could face a prison sentence of up to two years behind bars.
In 2018, the airport discovered a total of 560 items being smuggled due to the illegal wildlife trade, including 250 geckos and 254 corals smuggled in parcels, baggage and in shipments.
The airport has also seized 63 iguanas, chameleons and bearded dragons last year year.