Karachi: The Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) recently released 54 Indian soft-shelled turtles rescued from poachers, into the Indus River near the Khairpur-Larkana Bridge — according to a news source.
Earlier this week, the SWD had received a tip-off about poachers from Ranipur in the Khanpur district, and retrieved the turtles from their possession on Wednesday. SWD deputy conservator Dara Munir Qazi revealed that apart from the turtles being confiscated, a PKR 30,000 fine was also imposed on the poachers.
He explained that the smuggling of freshwater turtles has been rampant in the area, despite strict checks and legislation against it. These turtles are smuggled to nations in the Far East, where they and their body parts can fetch high prices. This breed, with the scientific name of Chitra Indica, has been classified as being endangered, and is only found along South Asian rivers. It is threatened by poaching activities and loss of habitat, so the SWD is vigilant about its conservation.