Famous Five

Source: waza.org, photo Elke Talma (MCSS)
On the website of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquaria) this was presented as a Christmas story: The famous five are back on the Seychelles. The famous five are in this case Hawksbill turtles that will be relocated to the Seychelles.
In March 2009 five fertilized turtle eggs were confiscated at Frankfurt airport. A German passenger who had been on vacation on the Seychelles tried to smuggle the eggs to the EU illegally. The eggs were discovered by a sniffer dog who was trained to detect protected animals.
The eggs were transported to the Frankfurt Zoo, where they hatched successfully. Here it became clear that it involved Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), an endangered species. The Hawksbill Turtle is on the IUCN red list. Meanwhile, the turtles are about 20 cm long (this species will eventually become about 90 cm long) and they are healthy. Hawksbill Turtles can become over 100 years old and therefore it was decided to relocate the animals back into the wild in their country of origin (Seychelles).

On December 18 the five turtles were flown back to the Seychelles under the supervision of a staff member of the German institute for nature conservation. The turtles are temporarily being kept in salt water ponds of a pearl farm before they are released into the wild. As a token of gratitude for the good care they received in Germany the famous five have been named after the five largest cities in Germany.

The adventures of the famous five can be followed on a blog by the MCSS, the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles.
Link to the turtle site