Contraband turtles rescued at airport, now in eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Contraband turtles rescued at airport, now in eastern Iowa

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

16 turtles have a home in Iowa after being saved from illegally being taken from the United States.  In all, more than 200 turtles were found packed inside boots in luggage at the Anchorage airport in Alaska.  The reptiles would have been illegally exported to China for the food and pet trade.

The turtles were held by the US Fish and Wildlife Service until homes could be found.  16 were delivered to Dubuque's National River Museum and Aquarium.  Six are Wood Turtles on the Iowa endangered list, six are Blanding's Turtles on the Iowa threatened list, and four are Loggerhead Musk Turtles.

While some of these turtles will be put on display in the main gallery of the Mississippi River Center, others have been distributed to  Mines of Spain Recreation Area and Maquoketa Caves State Park.

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