Telangana

Indian softshell turtles found abandoned on the roadside in Telangana

Residents carrying away abandoned Indian softshell turtles abandoned on the roadside near Rajupeta village in Mulakalapalli mandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on Sunday morning.

Residents carrying away abandoned Indian softshell turtles abandoned on the roadside near Rajupeta village in Mulakalapalli mandal of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on Sunday morning.   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

26 turtles rescued by Forest Department officials

Several dozens of Indian softshell turtles were discovered in bushes near Rajupeta village in Mulakalapalli mandal on Sunday morning after being allegedly dumped on the roadside by suspected members of inter-State gang smuggling turtles.

Sources said that the stepped up vehicle checking operation by the police as part of anti-Naxal operations in Palvancha division may have prompted the smugglers to dump the consignment of turtles from their vehicle midway near Rajupeta in a failed bid to smuggle the trafficked reptiles possibly from coastal areas of neighbouring States to some big cities.

Passersby found dozens of turtles crawling in the bushes and several others dead in ice-laden cartons dumped along the Pogallapalli-Timmampeta road near Rajupeta on Sunday morning.

As the news spread, some motorists and people from nearby habitations thronged the site and reportedly took away a couple of abandoned turtles.

After being alerted by the locals, the Forest staff led by Mulakalapalli in-charge Forest Range Officer (FRO) P. Srinivas Rao reached the spot and rescued 26 turtles.

“We have recovered 14 dead turtles and rescued 26 turtles from the spot near Rajupeta where a consignment of turtles was found dumped,” said Mr. Srinivas Rao.

The rescued turtles were immediately shifted to Kinnerasani reservoir near Palvancha for releasing them into the dam, Mr. Rao told The Hindu, when contacted.

Coordinated efforts are on in association with the local police to identify the vehicle involved in the turtles smuggling bid and the persons behind the illegal reptile trade, he said, adding that the guilty will be booked under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 5:48:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/indian-softshell-turtles-found-abandoned-on-the-roadside-in-telangana/article30069411.ece

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