Nature and the Environment
in the News

Source:The Philippine Star
Date: June 2, 2010

2 arrested for killing soft-shell tortoise

By Aie Balagtas See (The Philippine Star) Updated June 02, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Two persons were arrested yesterday for the alleged illegal killing of a soft-shell tortoise which would be used as aphrodisiac ingredient for hot pot cooking in a Chinese restaurant in Pasay City.

Nabbed by authorities were Felix Timbas, the master cook in Nature Hot Pot Restaurant located at Hobbies of Asia Plaza, Macapagal Avenue; and Mila Austria, the restaurant?s manager.

According to Dr. Ronaldo Bernasor, Pasay City veterinarian, he was conducting a routine inspection in the area yesterday morning when he received a tip from an informant, claiming that tortoises are being sold as aphrodisiac specialty in the said restaurant. Bernasor said they immediately coordinated with the Pasay police and launched the operation about 11:45 a.m.

At least seven tortoises?four of them dead and one butchered? were found in the restaurant?s kitchen. Bernasor said their team even witnessed the actual chopping of the turtle.

Based on the restaurant?s brochure, each tortoise hot pot cost about P428, said arresting officer Godofredo Villafranca. The supply of these turtles allegedly comes from Ongpin, Manila, according to Bernasor.