Save our Indian Star Tortoises!
The Indian Star Tortoise is an endangered species under the Indian Wildlife Act. This species is widely popular for the exotic pet trade. In addition to this, tortoise meat is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world and therefore, is extensively hunted for meat consumption. Their babies are also illegally smuggled across to ASEAN countries either to keep as exotic pets, breed more star tortoises for meat, or for actual meat consumption.
Recently, we have rescued this star tortoise from the main highway near Chodavaram, a town in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. To date, we have rescued over 80 star tortoises and they all reside in our Wildlife Rehab Center in Shelter 1. Some of them also reside in Kindness Shelter. There have been times when we have had to rescue this endangered species from temples where devotees with blind false beliefs, have just dumped them. Our team rescue has also rescued them from wells. These helpless tortoises are placed in deep wells by people who believe that tortoises help keep the well clean.
VSPCA’s founder, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Nath, is very good at tackling issues at the grassroots level. VSPCA has worked to raise awareness about star tortoises vulnerability to extinction and the importance of their role in ecosystems. We create posters and flyers and paste them across temples and local communities. Now, the temple authorities work with us to help save these beautiful animals.