Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 9:
Forest department officials today recovered as many as 12 narrow-headed soft shell turtle (Chitra Indica) of the family Trionychidae during raids at the Kathjodi river mouth near Anlatunga village in Byalish Mouza area of Odisha’s Cuttack district.
This species of turtles are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, and placed in Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
The turtles were recovered by City Forest officials during a surprise raid at the Kathjodi river mouth. These turtles were being smuggled to Kolkata.
The poachers, however, managed to escape leaving behind the sack containing the turtles.
“We were tipped off that some men were trying to smuggle turtles. We raided the place. The smugglers fled the spot leaving the sack containing the turtles. All of them are in good condition. These turtles are of the Chitra Indica species. All the 12 turtles will be shifted to Nandankanan Zoological Park,” said P K Mishra Bhubaneswar city divisional forest officer.
“Organized rackets are behind the smuggling of these turtles to Kolkata, where it is in great demand for its meat. We have registered a case and have launched our investigations,” Mishra added.