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No. 275, 24th February 2017

1. Australia: High metal levels found in Queensland turtle blood
SOURCE: – DATE: 13th February 2017

Cobalt, a naturally occurring mineral that can also be an environmental pollutant, has been recorded in the blood of Queensland turtles (in Australia) at potentially harmful levels

Researcher C. Alex Villa from the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Services (QAEHS) - a partnership between The University of Queensland and Queensland Health - was lead author of a study on metals in coastal Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas). Turtles in the Howick Group of islands in far north Queensland's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), removed from localised human-caused pollution, served as a baseline to which researchers compared populations from Cleveland Bay, Upstart Bay and Shoalwater Bay. The turtles tested at Cleveland Bay and Upstart Bay looked healthy on the outside but their blood cobalt levels were very high in comparison to the GBR metal baseline levels, Mr Villa said.

ATP Note: In many Asian countries, including Vietnam, where turtle meat is still consumed and blood sometimes drunk with rice wine such news should be a warning about the dangers in consuming long lived creatures which are known to accumulate such toxins.

Link to this web article online (English)

sea turtle

© University of Queensland

2. India: Jackal pup, tortoises rescued from estate
SOURCE: – DATE: 22nd February 2017

The forest cell of CID raided a farmhouse on the outskirts of Bangalore, Karnataka, India and rescued wildlife, including a jackal pup, two star tortoises (Geochelone elegans), one flap shell turtle (Lissemys punctata), and two parakeets. The team also recovered 50 kg of sandalwood, and arrested the manager of the place named Drona – Nature and Adventure Academy.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Thailand Suffering coin-eating turtle heading for surgery
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd February 2017

Veterinarians plan to operate on a suffering sea turtle that has spent years swallowing coins thrown into its pond by people seeking good luck. Nantarika Chansue, a lecturer Thailand's Chulalongkorn University's faculty of veterinary science, said her team was already rehabilitating the turtle to ready it for surgery to remove the huge stack of coins that have accumulated its stomach. They expected to operate in about two weeks.

Link to this web article online (English)


turtle swallowing coins

© N. Chansue

rescue turtle

© Fire Rescue Department

4. Malaysia: Mammoth giant tortoise rescued from Perak village drain
SOURCE: - DATE: 23rd February 2017

Residents of Kampung Sungai Terap in Kampung Gajah (Perak Tengah District, Perak, Malaysia) did a double take when they discovered a massive giant tortoise trapped in a drain in their village. Residents alerted authorities over the massive reptile, which had fallen into the drain and was unable to move. A Batu Gajah fire station spokesman said the tortoise weighed about 80kg. Due to its sheer size, rescue personnel took 30 minutes to dislodge the tortoise and lift it out of the drain.

ATP Note: the animals is possibly an Asiatic Softshell Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea).

Link to this web article online (English)


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