Thirty-seven endangered tortoises and turtles, all victims of the illegal wildlife trade in Hong Kong, will find new homes in Europe. They will join conservation and breeding programmes there. The reptiles were either confiscated from illegal traders by fisheries officials or rescued by animal concern groups after being reported by members of the public. They lived in Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Tai Po. Last week, they were sent to the European Studbook Foundation in the Netherlands. The animals include one critically endangered Arakan Forest Turtle, which can only be found in western Myanmar and was once thought to have been extinct in the wild. Tortoises and turtles are caught and sold illegally either as pets or for their supposed medicinal qualities. A spokesman for Kadoorie Farm said illicit trade threatened their existence. 'If people stop this behaviour, they can help conserve the species,' he said. 'It is much more exciting to see wild animals in their native habitats.'