Over 50 turtles found dead in lake near Mumbai: What we know of the incident

Dozens of Indian flapshell turtles were found dead in a lake in Kalyan, near Mumbai on Sunday after a local politician complained of foul smell in the area

FP Staff January 24, 2022 13:19:42 IST
Over 50 turtles found dead in lake near Mumbai: What we know of the incident

Dozens of turtles were found dead for suspected poisoning at the Gauripada lake in Kalyan around 40 km from Mumbai. AFP

Dozens of Indian flapshell turtles were found dead in a lake in Kalyan, near Mumbai on Sunday after a local politician complained of foul smell in the area.

Conservation workers were alerted about the incident who found that as many as 57 turtles were killed while they rescued six.

What led to the death of the freshwater reptile, here is everything you need to know about Indian flapshell turtles and the nightmare they caught themselves in:

After a local politician alerted conservation workers about a foul smell near the lake, they found 57 dead turtles in the lake.

According to a report by Agence France-Presse, Suhas Pawar of Wild Animal and Reptile Rescue group said that locals illegally breed fish in the lake, which also led to the increased population of the reptile.

It is likely the residents poisoned the reptiles to stop them from eating fish. Restriction on human activities during the COVID-19 lockdown may have helped increase the fish stock, which further attracted turtles to the lake.

The incident is currently under investigation as a few turtle carcasses have been sent for post-mortem and forensic analysis.

Indian flapshell turtles

The Indian flapshell turtle is a freshwater turtle species found in South Asia. They are called “flapshell” due to the presence of flaps of skin on the plastron, the underside or the belly of the turtle.

The flaps cover the limbs when they retract into the shell. Indian flapshell turtles are widespread and common in South Asian countries.

The reptiles are found in abundance in lakes and rivers in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar.

The animal falls under the “least concern” category of conservation, meaning the species is not in danger. However,they are a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act.

In many areas in South Asia, these turtles and their eggs are used as a source of protein-rich food. As a result, they are often exploited as a source of profit.

With inputs from agencies

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