English News


298 live turtles rescued by Uttar Pradesh Forest officials

298 turtles were discovered in 10 gunny bags by residents of a village in Uttar Pradesh

Earlier this week, the people of Kosma Musalmeen village in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district were shocked to find 10 gunny bags in a mustard field and on checking them they were amazed to discovered that each bag had live turtles.

While the villagers were taken aback, they acted swiftly and informed the State Forest Department and the local police. The forest officials rushed to the spot and recovered a total of 298 Indian flapshell turtles and Indian softshell turtles. They were moved to the Wildlife SOS facility in Agra for medical observation and deemed fit by the NGO’s veterinary team. Later they were released in Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Agra in the presence of forest officials.

The authorities are investigating the matter.

Turtles Found In Kosma Musalmeen2
Following their medical check-up, all the turtles were released Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary

Listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection Act) 1972, the Indian Flapshell turtle and the Indian Softshell Turtle, these creatures have the same level of protection as the tiger in India. Poaching or the possession of these turtles or their illegal trade is a criminal offence. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna also prohibits global trade of these species.

Turtles are poached and traded illegally because of various superstitious myths and beliefs attributed to them. While in some parts of the world their meat is considered as a delicacy, there is also a misguided belief that their shell possesses medicinal and healing properties.