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Animal activists rescue endangered turtles in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Three endangered turtles which were packed in a plastic cover and dumped in front of a house in Four Bungalows, Andheri (west), were rescued by animal activists on Thursday morning.

Responding to an early morning call from an activist who rehabilitates stray dogs and cats, Sunish Subramanian, honorary wildlife warden and founder of NGO Plant & Animals Welfare Society – Mumbai & Amma Care Foundation (PAWS-Mumbai ACF) helped in the rescue of the turtles today.

“I received a call from Anusha Srinivasan Iyer from Four Bungalows, Andheri (west), following to which PAWS-Mumbai ACF Team rescued the turtles (two Soft Shelled Turtle and one Northern River Terrapin) which are protected under Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972″. Said Anusha. “Normally, we get puppies and kittens abandoned outside our home, Pawsitive Farm Sanctuary, sometimes with their eyes closed. Today morning, we saw a large blue plastic cover and from it, one head popped out and a pair of eyes looked at me. It was a turtle. Upon looking inside the cover, there were three turtles quite large in size. And one did not look from the same family”, she added.

Since the Pawsitive Farm Sanctuary houses only distressed cats and dogs, they called PAWS-Mumbai ACF, the NGO that specializes in wildlife rescues.

Activist Nisha Kunju who attended the call said, “I was surprised when Anusha sent me photos of turtles in a plastic bag asking what should be done till our team reach. I asked her to let them be as we did not know their condition and keep a watch on it. We reached immediately and in half an hour, we had the turtles safely in a basket.”

“From the look on it, they have clearly abandoned pets as they are of big species. People tend to buy turtles when they are pint-sized for Feng Shui and good luck and are even gifted by friends, but as they grow, people want to get rid of them as the small fish tank becomes too small for the turtle”, said.

“We have informed Forest Department as it is Wildlife, the medical examination has been done and will release them according to the guidance of the Forest Department”, she said.

Veterinarian Dr. Rahul Meshram whom PAWS Mumbai ACF consulted on the turtles, avered, “I have examined the three turtles. They are healthy and fit to be released in their natural habitat.”

Date: 24 Dec 2019
Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/endangered-turtles-rescued-in-mumbai/articleshow/67673496.cms