Sunday, September 26, 2021

266 turtles fly home from Hyderabad's Nehru Zoological Park to Lucknow's Gomti river

In August 2021, two citizens of Hyderabad were apprehended by law enforcement officers of the Telangana Forest Department for attempting to sell the protected turtles to aquarium shops.

The accused confessed to poaching the turtles from the Gomti River near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Following their seizure, the turtles were shifted to the Nehru Zoological Park for care until they could be repatriated.

Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), an organization dedicated to conservation and rescue efforts of the crucial yet neglected species, announced in a statement this week, the rescue and return of 266 native Indian freshwater turtles namely Indian Roofed Turtles (Pangshura tecta) and Pink-ringed Tent Turtles (Pangshura tentoria circumdata).

The operation, first-of-its-kind interstate repatriation, was successful with the joint efforts of Nehru Zoological Park, Telangana Forest Department, Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, and Air India.

On Sunday, September 19, 2021, TSA India Program partner Air India flew the turtles from Hyderabad to Lucknow in specially designed cargo containers.

Following an eight-hour flight, the turtles arrived in their home state of Uttar Pradesh, where they were further transported to the joint Uttar Pradesh Forest Department/TSA India Program Laboratory for Aquatic Biology at the Kukrail Gharial and Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. After being observed for diseases for a month, the turtles will be released into a protected area of the Gomti River.

25/09/21 Babli Yadav/IBTimes

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