Singapore Airlines helps repatriate 51 smuggled tortoises to India

In a unique initiative, wildlife enthusiasts have been successful in bringing back 51 Indian Star tortoises back to India from Singapore. These harmless creatures were originally smuggled from India and sold in Singapore as victims of illegal wildlife trafficking.

For this repatriation mission, WildlifeSOS India and ACRES Singapore joined hands. Singapore Airlines played an important role in this as they have transported these vulnerable animals for free.

Indian Star Tortoise is one of the most trafficked tortoise species in the world owing to the unique star-like radiating pattern on the shell. Photo courtesy: Twitter@/WildlifeSOS
Indian Star Tortoise is one of the most trafficked tortoise species in the world owing to the unique star-like radiating pattern on the shell. Photo courtesy: Twitter@/WildlifeSOS

The tortoises landed at the Bengaluru airport today.

“The Stars have landed! Receiving 51 star tortoises from Singapore at Bangalore airport & taking them to be released into their habitat,” tweeted WildlifeSOS India

For transporting the tortoises, they were kept in specially designed boxes so that they did not face any problem in their long journey from Singapore to India.

The tortoises were kept in specially designed boxes so that they did not face any problem in their long journey from Singapore to India. Photo courtesy: Twitter@/WildlifeSOS
The tortoises were kept in specially designed boxes so that they did not face any problem in their long journey from Singapore to India. Photo courtesy: Twitter@/WildlifeSOS

At the airport, Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, along with her team and BK Singh, former Chief Wildlife Warden and Head of forest force of Karnataka, received the tortoises. They will finally be released in their original habitat.

Investigations have confirmed that Karnataka was the origin of the tortoises.

Meanwhile, once the tortoises have completed their quarantine period of three months, the Wildlife SOS intends to initiate radio tagging and monitor these animals for survival.

Indian star tortoise is a protected species 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.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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