MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials say they have seized large shipments of turtle scutes and meat and scales of endangered anteaters in a sign that the illegal trade is booming.
Alex Marcaida, an environment official, says 58 pounds (26.5 kilograms) of Philippine pangolin, or anteater, about to be smuggled to Manila as goat meat was confiscated Wednesday at the Puerto Princesa city airport in the southwestern Philippines.
He says that on Monday, 209 pounds (95 kilograms) of pangolin scales and 200 pounds (90.5 kilograms) of scutes from endangered hawksbill and green turtles were seized at the same airport. That shipment, which had a market value of nearly 1 million pesos ($23,000), was declared as dried fish.
Pangolin is a Chinese delicacy. Its scales are used in Chinese traditional medicine.