Photos obtained by Lantau News throw further light on the attempt to smuggle African spurred tortoises on the weekend.
Local fisherman found the tortoises in sacks on the Mui Wo dock on Saturday evening and called the police.
The photos reveal many of the tortoises were full-grown adults and some had been kept in distressing conditions.
The resident who passed on the photos (who asked to remain anonymous) said the sacks appeared to have been dumped on the dock by the would-be smugglers. Some sacks had broken open, revealing some tortoises lying on their backs.
He said it wasn’t clear if the creatures had been brought by boat or were waiting to be collected by boat.
The African spurred tortoise is the world’s third largest tortoise and is a popular pet. Trade in the species is illegal under the CITES treaty.