This temple in India is home to "extinct" turtles

These turtles may have disappeared from the wild, but they continue to live on at some Hindu temples in India... 🐢

This hindu temple is a shelter for turtles that are extinct in the wild

This temple is home to turtles that have disappeared from the wild: the black softshell turtle. Declared extinct in the wild in 2002, these aquatic turtles that are endemic to south Asia were the victims of hunting and the destruction of their habitat. But they continue to live on at some Hindu temples, like Hayagriva Madhav in Assam state. The turtle population is large here because the holy status of this pilgrimage site protects them. The fish and turtles in this pond are considered sort of like gods.

Many people come here to see the turtles. The crowds are bigger here than in the temple. Pranab Malakar, the manager of this sanctuary, recently teamed up with the NGO Good Earth to set up a reproduction program. In January 2019, 16 baby turtles raised at the temple were released in a neighboring nature reserve.

Although some hope remains for these turtles, it’s already too late for a similar species, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle. The last known female died on April 13, 2019 at a Chinese zoo. Turtles are among the world’s most endangered species. Nearly half of all turtle species are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

June 12, 2019 3:06 PM