Updates from : The Hindu :
Will be repatriated to India, returned to habitat in forests of Karnataka: NGO
At least 50 Indian star tortoises were rescued from Singapore after they were smuggled from India, said a wildlife NGO on Monday.
The tortoises were confiscated by the Singapore authorities. They will now be repatriated to India and returned to their natural habitat in the forests of Karnataka with cooperation from the Indian and Singapore governments, a statement from Wildlife SOS India said.
Investigations confirmed that Karnataka was the origin of these tortoises.
A team of senior forest officers travelled with Wildlife SOS to Singapore to conduct physical inspection of the tortoises, housed at non-government organisation Acres Wildlife Rescue Centre there, the statement added.
Singapore Airlines contributed to the cause of wildlife conservation by transporting the tortoises for free, it said.
A three-member team from Wildlife SOS India and a three-member team of Acres Singapore rescued the tortoises from Singapore to India.
Once the tortoises complete their quarantine period of 3 months, Wildlife SOS will initiate radio tagging and monitor these animals for survival.
The Indian star tortoise is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It is one of the most trafficked tortoise species in the world owing to the unique star-like radiating pattern on the shell, the statement said.
“I am relieved that these tortoises are finally coming back to where they belong. I am also delighted that the partnership between Wildlife SOS and Acres resulted in a successful repatriation project,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS.