Photo Gallery: Exotic Animals Rescued at L.A. Airport

Photo Gallery: Exotic Animals Rescued at L.A. Airport
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Inspectors discovered dozens of Indian star tortoises, a popular yet rare pet, in packages labeled as toys and sandals in May 2007 at the Los Angeles International Airport, a booming hub for wildlife smuggling.

The star tortoise comes from India and Sri Lanka and is a desired pet because of its rare patterned shell.

Investigators with the Fish and Wildlife Service often have difficulty apprehending illegal tortoise sellers because captive-bred tortoises are legal.

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—Photograph courtesy Los Angeles U.S. Attorneys Office/U.S. Department of Justice
 
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