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Update: Investigation continues into discovery of deceased giant tortoises in Mid Devon

Police are continuing to investigate after several deceased giant tortoises were found in the Mid Devon area in January.

Two bodies were found in Ashclyst Forest, roughly north-east of Exeter, on Monday 8 January and a further five were found nearby on Friday 12 January.

Two further bodies were located in the same area as part of the ongoing enquiries.

Devon and Cornwall Police has been working with the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the RSPCA to progress this investigation.

Post-mortems are still to be carried out to establish the cause of death of the tortoises as the investigation continues.

A man in his 50s from the Exeter area attended a voluntary attendance police interview in relation to suspected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Enquiries are ongoing.

Inspector Mark Arthurs said: “We are grateful for the public support in response to our appeal and have been working through the information we have received.

“We have been working closely with specialists, including the RSPCA and our colleagues from the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

“Our enquiries are ongoing.”

If you have any information that could help with enquiries, please contact police via our website here or by calling 101 quoting 50240006127.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling freephone 0800 555111.

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Linzi Berryman
(Police, Alert Officer, Devon & Cornwall)

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