Endangered turtles stolen from UK zoo in ‘concerning’ and ‘targeted theft’
Two endangered turtles have been stolen from the only UK zoo to hold the rare aquatic species. The Coahuilan Box Turtles were stolen from their exhibit at Dudley Zoo & Castle on Saturday morning (July 1) with workers ‘incredibly concerned’.
The missing males can be easily identified, with one measuring around 15cm and the other slightly bigger at 17cm. The rare species is native to Cuatro Ciénegas in Mexico and faces threats from poaching for private collections.
A Dudley Zoo and Castle spokesperson, said: “We believe this to be a targeted theft as we’re the only zoo collection in the country to hold the endangered aquatic species, so we understand how rare they are.
“We are incredibly concerned about their welfare. They’re a small exotic reptile species, native to Mexico, which spends most of the time in the water. They require specialist care and it is essential we get them back.
“The exhibit is accessed from the front public corridor and staff found the lock had been damaged. We’ve launched a full review of security in the Reptile House and have already started installing additional bolts alongside the window locks and will manually staff the area until this work has been completed.”
The turtles are easily identifiable, with one measuring around 15cm long, while the other is slightly bigger at around 17cm in length.
Anyone with information related to the theft is urged to contact the zoo on 01384 215313 or police on 101, quoting log number 1470-01072023.