Egypt’s Ministry of Environment said in a statement on Tuesday that it has thwarted an attempt to smuggle 40 Sudanese African spurred tortoises by two smugglers at the Egyptian-Sudanese border.
The Southern Reserves Administration in Egypt's southern region of Aswan caught the smugglers in cooperation with Egyptian border guards.
The smugglers were trying to bring the tortoises to Egypt and then smuggle them abroad, according to the environment ministry’s statement.
A report was filed on the incident and legal proceedings were taken against the smugglers for violating the Environment Law No. 9 of 2009, which prohibits any kind of harm towards living organisms and biodiversity.
A committee was formed to inspect the seized tortoises and they were found to be in good health.
The tortoises will be released back into their natural habitat, according to the Ministry of Environment.