Second chance for rare turtles

Bangkok Post

One hundred rare turtle hatchlings have been released into the Mekong River in Cambodia as part of conservation efforts, after receiving a traditional Buddhist blessing from monks.

Listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and found mainly in Southeast Asia, the critically endangered Cantor’s giant soft-shelled turtle was believed to be extinct in Cambodia until it was rediscovered in the Mekong River in northeastern Kratie province in 2007.

Since that rediscovery, Conservation International (CI), a US-based environmental NGO, has made inroads into protecting the species and ensuring its continued survival in Cambodia.

Two years ago, CI set up a hatchling programme, raising baby turtles in its Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre and then releasing them back into the wild.

Since last year, 200 new turtles have been raised at the centre.

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