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Principle Animal Markets in China
Guangzhou- Qing Ping turtle market. This used to be the old location of the wildlife market in Guangzhou until around 1999. At that time the wildlife market moved to the northwestern suburbs leaving the bulk of the Asian turtle trade in the city in this series of streets.
A truly astounding variety as well as astronomical number of Asian chelonia abound in these markets. The street is split into two areas. The first area contains about 15 stalls/stores housing anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand chelonians. These stores are primarily involved with selling the animals priced per kilogram for medicinal purposes. They also appear to be acting as a collecting point for forwarding to other areas within China judging by the Notochelys that were being repackaged (see picture below) as well as the ambos that were having their missing scute areas painted black before being repackaged in another shop. The second area in Qing Ping is primarily open air pet shops. Animals here ranged from exotic chelonia such as a Manouria impressa, offered Geochelone platynota, various Malagasy chameleons to green iguanas, North American chelonia including snappers and map turtles to misshapen chelonian oddities such as those pictured just below.
The medicinal/food area of the market with some Notochelys being packed up to be sent onward to another market.
The van in the back left of this picture held around thirty to forty crates of turtles similar to the one seen being carried into a shop below. The animals were all packed into the crates with no spare room. It was this type of non International Air Transport Association (IATA) packaging that led to the confiscation in Hong Kong in late 2001.
Once in the store the animals were sorted out into various other bins or crates apparently by their health status rather than their speciation. Piles of live, moribund, damaged, and dead animals abounded during unpacking sessions.
Bag upon bag upon bag of chelonians lie in the street in the picture below after being unloaded and before they are sorted.
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