Rare turtle rescued in Navi Mumbai, released

  • Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 24, 2015 17:00 IST

An endangered species of Indian turtle, Nilssonia Leithii, weighing eight-and-a half kg, marked on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), was rescued from the restroom of a Navi Mumbai residential complex in May and after treatment was released in Nashik on Monday.

A member of the Thane Society with the rescued turtle. (HT photo)

On receiving a call on May 23, members of the Thane Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (TSPCA) and Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) carried out the rescue operation.

“The turtle had injuries on his carapace (shell) as well as severe abrasions on its head. The forest department had no infrastructure to house these specific reptiles and permission was given to the Thane SPCA to treat and house the turtle till deemed medically fit,” said Pawan Sharma, president, RAWW.

From May 24 to June 2, the turtle was kept inside a Sintex tank filled with fresh water. However, because this restricted its movement, the Thane SPCA decided to build a pool for the turtle.

Dr Deepa Katyal, veterinarian and resident of Chembur, said, “It had lot of scratches on different parts of his body, as it had been caught in a fisherman’s net. We disinfected its wounds and kept it on local antibiotics. As the shell was not broken, no major infection had set in and it helped the animal recover well.”

A volunteer, Shrikant Raskar, from TSPCA found the turtle wedged in a fishing net at a local dock in Navi Mumbai. On Monday, the turtle was deemed medically fit and after a month long research to find an isolated location to release the turtle in, an undisclosed area in Nashik was chosen. “At the time of release, the turtle had gained 800gm in weight,” said Sharma.

Members of TSPCA have said that authorities need to introduce regulations during fishing as similar instances have been observed in the past. “In the absence of any sustained conservation efforts for such reptiles, stricter norms need to be implemented for their safety and security,” said Shakuntala Majumdar, president, TSPCA

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