Cuc Phuong National Park transfers 186 turtles to Southern Vietnam

Rangers from the Lo Ga Xa Mat National Park assisted in carrying the turtles to the forest

On the 24th of February 2012 the Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park transferred 186 turtles to the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station in southern Vietnam, a project of Wildlife at Risk (WAR). The shipment included Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata), Giant Asian pond turtles (Heosemys grandis), Yellow Headed Temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii), South Asian box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) and Black Marsh turtles (Siebenrockiella crassicollis) which are all native to central or southern Vietnam.

The turtles were transported by train and after 4 days of travel all arrived healthy at the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station. These animals have originated from confiscations from the illegal wildlife trade and captive breeding success at the TCC. Some animals will be maintained at the Cu Chi centre which is more ideal climatic conditions while others will be given a second chance in the wild.

On the 2nd of March the TCC manager Hoang Van Thai and WAR staff selected 83 individuals for immediate release into Lo Ga Xa Mat National Park in Tay Ninh Province. Supported by Nguyen Van Xuan, the director of the National Park 71 Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata) and 11 Giant Asian pond turtles (Heosemys grandis) and one Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) were released back into the wild.

The TCC would like to thank Education for Nature (ENV) for their support of the transfer and release and Wildlife at Risk (WAR) and Lo Ga Xa Mat National Park for their assistance and collaboration in turtle conservation activities in Vietnam.

Press release by: Sarah Wahl and Hoang Van Thai – TCC

15th March 2012

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