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Thieves crave turtles in Shanghai nature park
2005-11-22 01:42:11 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEIJING, Nov 22 (AP) -- A Chinese nature park is tightening security after suffering a mini-crime wave of turtle thefts.

The Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom has lost 13 of its 18 turtles in recent weeks after visitors walked away with them, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

The park has put bars around the turtle tank and posted security guards to protect the animals, one of its managers, Chen Min, told the Shanghai Daily newspaper.

The stolen turtles were about the size of a child's hand, Chen said.

"It is very difficult for our security guards to detect someone stealing a turtle, because the turtles can be put into pockets, and they don't utter sounds, even if they are attacked," she said.

The park also lost a ferret -- imported from the United States at a cost of 5,000 yuan (US$600; €500) -- after a visitor took it out of its cage.

The ferret was found later in a hay stack in a sheep pen, the report said.

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