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Tortoise droppings lead to airport surprise

A trail of droppings led Kenyan airport staff to 228 live tortoises packed as “shells” and destined for Thailand, officials said on Thursday.
Kenya Wildlife Service ranger Lelimo holds a Leopard tortoise in an enclosure at Nairobi Animal Orphanage
Kenya Wildlife Service ranger Daniel Lelimo holds a leopard tortoise in an enclosure at Nairobi Animal Orphanage on Thursday. Some 228 tortoises were being exported as "shells" from Uganda to Thailand according to the transport documents and were found after airport personnel saw droppings from the packages.Radu Sigheti / Reuters
/ Source: Reuters

A trail of droppings led Kenyan airport staff to 228 live tortoises packed as “shells” and destined for Thailand, officials said on Thursday.

“Airport staff heard movement and funny noises in the containers,” said Gichuki Kabukuru of Kenya Wildlife Services.

“They notified us when they saw the droppings,” he said.

Kabukuru said the leopard tortoises, named for their spotted shells, had arrived in metal crates from neighboring Uganda.

They would be cared for at an animal orphanage in Kenya’s capital Nairobi while an investigation was carried out, he said.