The number of reptiles found in caught illegal smuggling is increasing significantly as the demand for such pets rises in the trading market. The Hong Kong Society of Herpetology(HKHerp) has received close to 100 turtles from The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) recently, which included tortoises of endangered species. While there is a wide range of different demands in the market, purchasing smuggled animals encourages those businessmen to continue the mass hunting in the wild for some species and increases the risk of spreading infectious diseases.
HKHerp has worked hard in the last few years to promote conservation effectively and raise public awareness about animal welfare. As a result, AFCD and The Endangered Species Advisory Committee have finally approved that HKHerp can seek new homes for the endangered species which are commonly seen in the exotic pet market from 1st March 2014. Those who would like to adopt those animals should be aware that, adoption does not mean nothing is to be paid, as a fee is charged. However, although the fee may be more than the price of buying one, you get to save a little life or even more than one if you consider the broader long-term impact! While the adopted animal may not always be perfect, it is still beautiful and will brighten up your life. For adoption of species listed on the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), including Leopard tortoises and Red-footed tortoises shown in the pictures, microchip implantation into the body as identification is required for each adopted animal. This represents its legitimacy and uniqueness.
We have operated HKHerp in our own spare times over the past ten years. Our objective is clear: to help amphibians and reptiles, and raise people’s awareness about them. To celebrate our 10th anniversary and raise fund, a charity walk was held at Shatin Park on 6 April 2014. It went well and we were delighted to see many of you there despite the bad weather! Other than adopting animals, making donations to an animal welfare organization with high transparency can also benefit more animals.