UP: Over 100 turtles die as waterweed is burnt in pond

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
  • Updated: Jul 09, 2015 11:50 IST

Over 100 turtles were killed in a pond at Baklai, Oonch village in Unnao district when the waterweed was burnt to make it fit for pisciculture.

As per reports, the 20-bigha pond was given on lease to a local contractor for keeping fish. But as there was a lot of waterweed in the pond that hinder growth of fish, the contractor decided to burn them instead of taking it out manually as it would have cost more, two weeks ago.

However, after the recent rains dozens of dead turtles were spotted by villagers who reported the matter to forest officials. When officials reached the spot, they saw over 100 dead turtles that had come up from the mud due to rainfall. Several turtles were seen with burn injuries moving here and there to hide themselves.

Forest officials took the dead turtles to the office of the Turtle Surveillance Alliance (TSA) where the officials said the dead turtles were of two species— Indian Black Turtle and Indian Tent Turtle.

Indian black turtle (Melanochelys Trijuga) or Indian pond terrapin is a species of turtle found in South Asia. It is a medium-sized fresh water turtle. The colour of its upper shell or carapace varies largely from reddish to dark brown and black with yellow streaks running along its length. The Indian tent turtle (Pangshura Tentoria) is a species of Geoemydidae family of turtles found in India and Bangladesh. It is said that burning weed in ponds is an old practice. However, forest officials were not available for comment.

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