Rare turtle rescued near Bhitarkanika National Park, released into Brahmani river

The incident occurred after the endangered freshwater Indian Peacock softshell turtle got stuck in the nets of a fisherman near Bhitarkanika National Park on September 8.

Published: 10th September 2021 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2021 08:15 AM   |  A+A-

Bhitarkanika National Park

The freshwater Indian Peacock softshell turtle was rescued from Brahmani river near Bhitarkanika National Park (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA:  An endangered freshwater Indian Peacock softshell turtle was rescued from the Brahmani river in Jayakunda village near Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara on Wednesday. 

Rare peacock softshell turtle rescued
from Brahmani river (Photo | Express)

The rare species got stuck in the nets of a fisherman Kailash Barik on the day who immediately informed the forest officials. “We rushed to the spot and released the turtle into the river. Kailash was also awarded Rs 10,000 for informing us about the turtle,” said Divisional Forest Officer of Bhitarkanika National Park JD Pati. 

The Indian peacock softshell turtles (Nilssonia hurum) are found in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan with mud or sand bottoms. The juvenile ones feed on mosquito larvae and fish, while the adults consume snails, earthworms, prawns, fish, frogs and carrion. The turtles are listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and protected under schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. 

These turtles are hunted for their supposed aphrodisiac properties, livestock feed, leather-making, fishing bait, shell trade and to make potions from their blood.  “This rare species is a scavenger and requires clear, medium or large rivers with sand to thrive. But now, its numbers are declining due to hunting and destruction of their habitat by foxes and wild dogs,” said secretary of Gahirmatha Marine Turtles and Mangrove Conservation Society Hemant Rout.


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