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Customs officials in Ecuador discovered 185 baby tortoises packed inside a suitcase that was being sent from the Galápagos Islands to the mainland on Sunday.

The reptiles had been wrapped in plastic and were found during a routine inspection at the main airport on the island of Baltra.

Ten of them had died, officials said.

One of the biggest threats to Galápagos tortoises is illegal trading for animal collectors and exotic pet markets.

Many of the Galápagos tortoise subspecies are endangered. Also, wrapping live animals in plastic and shipping them in a suitcase is inhumane and disgusting.

Ecuador’s environment minister, Marcelo Mata, described the incident as a crime against the country’s wild fauna and natural heritage.

Also a crime against the specific 185 tortoises.

Staff from the Galápagos National Park are helping with the care of the seized tortoises

A man puts tortoises seized during a search at an airport on a tray

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