Published On: Fri, Jun 9th, 2017
Wildlife | By IANS

Rescued Indian tortoises to fly back home from Singapore

New Delhi: Trafficked from India to Singapore’s illegal animal market for use in traditional Chinese medicines or to become pets, 97 endangered Indian Star Tortoises will soon fly back home, wildlife officials said on Friday.

Over 105 Indian star tortoises were illegally smuggled into Singapore from Karnataka

The tortoises will be rehabilitated in their natural habitat in Ramdurga valley in Karnataka’s Koppal, north Karnataka.

Animal welfare organisation Wildlife SOS and Karnataka State Forest Department, with the help of Singapore-based Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) have taken the initiative, officials said.

“Karnataka Forest Department is extremely happy to rehabilitate and release these vulnerable tortoise species back into their natural habitat in our state. We look forward to their safe return home,” said the state’s Chief Wildlife Warden Anur Reddy.

According to the Wildlife SOS, over 105 Indian star tortoises were illegally smuggled into Singapore from Karnataka. Of them, 97 were found fit to travel back.

Bringing the animals back to India was important because according to Singapore, if these tortoises were not repatriated, they could be culled as per its laws.

“When we learnt that 97 star tortoises could be culled if not repatriated, we immediately requested the chief wildlife warden of Karnataka to consider our repatriation proposal,” said Wildlife SOS co-founder and CEO Kartick Satyanarayan.

“Once all approvals are in place, the animals will be air-lifted from Singapore to Bengaluru from where they will be shifted to the Wildlife SOS Field Station in Koppal where a special nursery will be created for the tortoises,” Wildlife SOS said in a statement.

 

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