An Indian flap shell turtle was dropped in at the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at Parel in a critical condition on Thursday afternoon by an unknown person. The turtle which came in with a damaged carapace (hard upper shell of a tortoise or turtle) underwent surgery, is still critical, rescuers said.
The injured turtle with a damaged carapace bleeding is suspected of being run over by a vehicle said Pawan Sharma, a conservationist and founder of Mumbai based NGO Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW). He rushed the injured animal from BSPCA to Dr Rina Dev's clinic in Khar.
"After a basic first aid and washing the wounds, we handed it over to volunteers from RAWW, who took it away for further treatment and care," said Taarika Ghaswalla, Animal Welfare Officer at BSPCA
At Dr Rina Dev's clinic, a team of vets stabilized the turtle and performed major surgery to save its life.
"It was found that a significant percent of the carapace was damaged. There was a damaged shell, shell fragments, and fractures across the midline that may affect the spine of the turtle. Some parts of the lung were also exposed. The turtle is under critical care management at the moment and is with constant monitoring and post-operative care," said Sharma adding that the whole rescue, treatment and rehab is done under the supervision of the forest department.
The Indian flap shell turtle (Lissemys Punctata) is a freshwater species found in South Asia. It is listed under Schedule (I) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and thereby, is granted the same level of protection as the tiger.
Sharma added, "In the last two weeks, RAWW has rescued 10 flap shell turtles, three tortoises and six red ear slider turtles. In the case of tortoises and red ear slider turtles, we can assume that might be a case of abandonment. However, finding turtles like the Indian flap shell is not uncommon. There are many instances when they get displaced in drains and when the drain dry set out in search of water bodies in an attempt to do us, many times they get stranded too."
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