Black market fears over missing Perth Zoo tortoise

PERTH Zoo staff fear the radiated tortoise reported missing may have been sold on the black market.

The ten-year-old tortoise was missing from its exhibit when keepers arrived on Tuesday morning.

Perth Zoo’s director of life sciences Maria Finnigan said the tortoise was extremely rare and in danger of extinction.

“The reason for the theft is unknown, however due to their stunning shells, radiated tortoise are heavily impacted by the illegal wildlife trade and regularly trafficked and sold on the black market,” she said.

“This species have a specialised diet and like all tortoises it needs help thermo regulating which is especially important at the moment while we experience cooler mornings.”

The missing tortoise is about 15 centimetres in diameter with a distinctive star shaped shell.

Perth Zoo is calling on anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers or the Kensington Police.