Last week (on the 31st of August 2017) 13 of our rescued turtles returned back to the wild. We successfully released 8 Southeast Asian box turtles (Cuora amboinensis), a Malayan snail-eating turtle (Malayemys macrocephala), and 4 giant Asian pond turtles (Heosemys grandis). Each of these species are classified as Vulnerable (VU) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Most turtle and tortoise species throughout the world are listed as endangered. They are captured for local consumption in vast numbers, by people living in rural areas, while regional networks of hunters and traders also work to supply restaurants and international markets. Turtles are heavily exploited for their eggs, for use in traditional medicines, and juveniles are harvested for the pet trade. Intensifying these threats are the effects of habitat destruction, with wetland drainage, pollution, and the construction of reservoirs, dams, and flood defense structures, all adding to the endangerment of the Testudines.
These lucky ones have now been released into a protected freshwater habitat, which will give them the best second chance at life. After a quick look around their new home, they all decided to take a dip and set of for new wild voyages. Let’s wish them a safe and happy life far from human harm. Keep an eye out for the release video which will be posted later today.