MADRID (AP) — The European law enforcement agency says Spanish police have shut down what they believe to be Europe’s biggest illegal turtle farm, selling endangered species worth 10,000 euros ($11,500) each.
Europol says Thursday that police in Mallorca seized around 1,100 turtles and 750 eggs, including specimens of 14 of the 50 most endangered species in the world. Some of the protected species came from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Europol says the operation began 18 months ago when authorities seized an illegal shipment of turtles at Mallorca airport. That discovery led them to the farm.
A pet shop in Barcelona specializing in exotic animals was used to smuggle the turtles out of Spain.
Europol says it coordinated information from other EU countries, including Austria, France, Germany and Italy.