GUWAHATI, Sept 4 - A total of 70 hatchlings of black soft-shell turtles and Indian soft-shell turtles were released at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary on Monday.
All these turtles were bred in the Hayagriva Madhab Temple at Hajo and Ugratara Temple of Guwahati. The hatchlings were nurtured at the conservation facility at the Assam State Zoo.
The turtles were released in the presence of DFO, Guwahati Wildlife Division Jitendra Kumar; DFO, Assam State Zoo, Tejas Mariswamy, members of Help Earth, and media persons.
“This was a joint effort of the Hayagriva Madhab temple management committee, Ugratara Temple management committee, Assam Forest Department, Turtle Survival Alliance and Help Earth. This wild restocking programme of turtles is important to sustain the species in the Brahmaputra river system, especially in the case of extinct-in-the-wild species, the black soft-shell turtle,” Jayaditya Purkayastha, general secretary of Help Earth said.
Help Earth has been actively involved in turtle conservation for the past one decade.
“The present initiative of Help Earth focuses on conservation of turtles in temple ponds and carrying out captive breeding programmes. The exercise of release of temple-bred turtle hatchlings in the wild was also carried out last year when 35 turtle hatchlings were released at Pobitora,” he added.