Authorities in Colombia busted an animal smuggling network on Sunday, rescuing thousands of native matamata turtles.
According to officials, a sniffer dog found the turtles as part of a routine inspection at the Alfredo Vasquez Cobo International Airport in Amazonas, Colombia.
They found more than 2000 baby turtles in horrible conditions, packed together without water and in bags. Many of the animals were in a bad state and some had died.
Authorities said the turtles were to be smuggled out to the United States and Japan.
The matamata is a species native to this region of Latin America. With its triangular head, spiky scales and unique camouflage, the turtle is ‘popular’ in animal trafficking rings.