Travelling without the right paperwork can often slow you down, although for two tortoises stopped at Port of Newhaven in Sussex, they probably weren't going very fast to begin with.
Border Force officers seized the two endangered reptiles because they didn't have the right paperwork and permits to enter the UK.
The young Spur-Thighed tortoises, each about three inches long, were found in the van of a man travelling from Morocco. They survived their long road trip inside a cardboard box in the back of the van and are currently being cared for while plans are drawn up for them to be re-housed.Importing tortoises is restricted under the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and they can only be brought into the UK if the correct permits have been applied for and issued.
The man attempting to smuggle the tortoises was travelling from Morocco via Dieppe to an address in London and stated that he was unaware of the licensing restrictions on importing such animals into the UK.
The tortoises were seized by Border Force officers earlier this month under EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.
Tortoise smuggling is one of the five CITES priorities for Border Force, and they are offered the same level of protection within Europe as the giant panda or Bengal tiger.