3,600 crocodiles rescued from smugglers in S. China08-07-2012
NANNING - Police in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region said Saturday they had seized more than 3,600 smuggled crocodiles, saving them from being served as exotic dishes.
Veterinarians are providing medical treatment to the endangered reptiles, with some having died from heatstroke during transportation, said an official from the public security bureau of Chongzuo city.
The Siamese crocodiles were seized in the city on Tuesday night as their trucks crossed the China-Vietnam border. Smugglers intended to supply them to restaurants in neighboring Guangdong province, the official said.
Siamese crocodiles are a critically endangered species native to most Southeast Asian countries. Their fresh is served as delicacies in some southern Chinese cities, creating an underground market of the reptiles, animal rights activists said.
Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is a freshwater crocodile native to Indonesia (Borneo and possibly Java), Brunei, East Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. The species is critically endangered and already extirpated from many regions. Its other common names include: Siamese freshwater crocodile, Singapore small-grain, cocodrilo de Siam, crocodile du Siam, buaja, buaya kodok, jara kaenumchued, and soft-belly. (wikipedia)