Iowans Want to Save the Turtles … And You Can Blame Asia

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Some Iowans are going to state lawmakers to save the turtles due to what’s going on in Asia.

China, Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan want turtle meat for protein, and they can’t get enough in their own countries. They also want turtle eggs, not just as a food source, but they consider them aphrodisiacs.

It’s hard for the turtles to reproduce if people keep eating their eggs, so Asia is turning to the United States. Most states have limits on when you can harvest turtles, but not Iowa.

About 30 years ago, Iowa harvested about 30,000 pounds of turtles. That’s jumped to about 8x that much today, and it’s about $2 a pound.

At this rate, the turtles could get wiped out. So, concerned Iowans are turning to lawmakers.

See what lawmakers are considering to help save the turtles on Part 4 of the March 13 Insiders.

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