Almost 700 turtles and tortoises were confiscated while attempting to be smuggled across the border from Bosnia into Croatia last November. When they were rescued they were found packed in bags like coal and likely on their way to Italy. They were immediately brought to a rescue center in Croatia and since distributed to zoological institutions in Croatia, Italy, Spain and Austria.
A total of 414 Marginated Tortoises (Testudo marginata), 189 Hermann tortoises (Testudo hermanni boettgeri) and 79 Balkan Pond Turtles (Mauremys rivulata) were tracked and captured by customs officials at the border crossing from Bosnia to Croatia. Among them are numerous adult specimens, which have severe scarring from fires. Turtle Island adopted 45 Marginated tortoises and provided these wonderful animals with a new home. Almost all of the T. marginata were in excellent condition and needed only minimal medical care.
Since the origin of these animals is unfortunately unknown, these turtles could not be repatriated into the wild. All Mediterranean tortoises are listed in the highest protection level of the EU, in appendix A. Collecting this amount of reproductive animals from the wild is a crime against nature and can be very detrimental to the survival of the species. The photo shows just a small portion of the turtles after being confiscated.