Comprehension exercise 19
Read the following news item and answer the short questions that follow.
Malaysian authorities have seized more than 5,000 baby turtles discovered in luggage at Kuala Lumpur airport.
Two Indian men were arrested after the 5,255 red-eared sliders – a semi-aquatic species of turtle – were found in baskets inside their suitcases.
Officials say the turtles are worth about $12,700 (£10,018) and were intended to be sold as pets in India.
Malaysia is a major transit point for wildlife smugglers, who typically go on to trade in other Asian countries.
The two men were arrested last week after flying to Kuala Lumpur from the Chinese city of Guangzhou, senior Malaysian customs official Zulkurnain Mohamed Yusof said.
The men, aged 30 and 42, did not have permits for the turtles, he said.
They could now face up to five years in prison and a fine.
“This is the first such case of the year, and we are unable to state whether it involves a similar quantity or more [if compared with previous cases]. But it appears to be quite a large quantity in two suitcases found at the same time,” Mr Yusof said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Red-eared sliders are the most popular turtle in the pet trade, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
They are classified as an invasive species in a number of habitats and are now found in the wild in countries around the world, as a result of many being released by owners or escaping.
The turtles seized in Malaysia last week will be put under the care of wildlife officials. [Source: BBC]
Answer the following questions.
- Why were the turtles being smuggled out?
- Why were the two men arrested?
- What is the approximate value of the turtles?
- What is the specialty of the type of turtles seized?
- Give a suitable title to the news item.
- The red-head turtles are quite in demand, because people like to keep them as pets. This fuels demand, and leads to trafficking.
- Smuggling of animals is illegal in Malaysia. The two persons were intercepted with bags full of red-head turtles. This led to their being taken to custody.
- The approximate value of the turtles is about $12700.
- The seized turtles are prized as pets. They are classified as ‘invasive’, and are found in the wild where they have proliferated after being released by their keepers.
- Big cache of Red-head turtles seized in Kualala Lumpur