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Turtles and tortoises come to us after - they are surrendered by pet owners either after learning that they are illegal to keep as pets or after they have grown quite large and the owners are incapable of taking care of them. Other times they come to us after sustaining injuries from cars that run over them or falling from heights.
Indigenous turtles and tortoises are kept as pets illegally all across the country and are a major part of the illegal wildlife trade in our country. Many a time when they get older, larger and difficult to take care of, pet owners relinquish them and they end up in Wildlife facilities such as ours. Once they are admitted with us we perform a thorough check on them to see if they have grown naturally, have any deficiencies in their shell, or have developed some kind of ailment due to being kept in a captive environment. These ailments are a deformity in the shell, cracks in the shell, weak and improper growth of limbs due to being left on flat surfaces, along with other deficiencies due to improper nutrition and care. Our team of reptile specialists and veterinarians take note of all the ailments and start them on corrective treatment, for which we have special units designed. Each turtle and tortoise is provided species-specific enclosures, proper nutrition and care along with medication to help them recover.
Being slow animals turtles and tortoises fall prey to speeding vehicles on the road in wild habitats and get reported to us. They are subjected to terrible injuries right from having a cracked shell or deformed to having injured their limbs or any other part of their body. When such cases come in, our veterinarians and rehabilitators devise a recovery and treatment plan which varies per species of the turtles and tortoises. Shell injuries take a long time to heal and require constant care, medication, supplements and a proper diet.
Release and Repatriation Efforts:
Turtles and tortoises whose natural habitats are close to Pune can be released easily though after learning about the numerous turtles that are given up from captivity, we felt the need to start a Turtle Repatriation Program with the Maharashtra Forest Department to ensure that the different species of turtles that come to us are released back into their natural habitats which usually lie far away from Pune. During these periods before their release or repatriation outcomes can be determined they require long term care which includes proper nutrition, rehabilitation to help them rewild them so that they are fit to survive once back into their habitat.