Our local tortoise, the tortuga greca, is, despite being everywhere, in danger of extinction.
Despite that, it seems some cheeky chappies think nothing of roaming the hills, filling bags with them, and then flogging them over the internet.
The Coppers tracked down the smugglers via the adverts they were placing online, arranged to meet them to pick up an specimen, and nicked them.
Two people have been arrested, and a total of 59 tortoises freed, of which 27 weren’t grecas but still were illegal.
You´re not allowed to keep grecas, touch them or even look at them in a funny way. If you find one on a road, speed it on its way with a helping hand and drive on, or take it to the Seprona police station at the Guardia Civil in Garrucha (or Turre, if it is open).
There is a tortoise sanctuary up near Vélez, the Bédar one having closed years ago, where tortoises are taken and released once strong enough.