Massive 25-kg Softshell Turtle Found In Agra Railway Colony
Agra, May 29 (TNA) An Indian Softshell Turtle, weighing nearly 25 kilograms was rescued by Wildlife SOS after it was found stashed inside a jute sack in Railway Colony, Cantonment area in Agra. The turtle is currently kept under medical observation and will soon be released back into its natural habitat, once deemed fit by the Wildlife SOS veterinarians.
A resident of the Railway Colony chanced upon a rather unexpected animal on Friday evening. A large turtle, later identified as an Indian Softshell turtle with ropes around its body was found stashed inside a jute sack on the side of the road.
The Indian Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia gangetica), or Ganges softshell turtle is a freshwater species found in South Asia and is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972 and thereby is granted the same level of protection as the tiger. Poaching or the possession of any protected wildlife species and the illegal trade of their body parts is a criminal offence leading to imprisonment for between three to seven years.
Vipin Singh, the person who called Wildlife SOS said, “I was out for some work when I noticed a slight movement in the jute sack. Upon further investigation, I found a massive turtle inside the sack which was tied up with ropes. I am glad the Wildlife SOS team responded quickly and the turtle is in safe hands now.”
Ram Gopal Singh, Range Forest Officer, Agra City Range, said, “We suspect the turtle was being illegally transported by poachers, Post medical examination, the turtle will be released back into a protected habitat.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said, “Softshell turtles are poached extensively for their body parts and their meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of Southeast Asia. With its protruding, tube-like snout and extremely flattened shell, the soft-shelled turtle is a very peculiar-looking freshwater species.