A Leith's softshell turtle (Nilssonia leithii), weighing around 13 kg, was rescued after it was spotted in a drain in Mulund. The rescue operation was carried out by wildlife rescuers Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) in coordination with the forest department.
The turtle was found stranded in drainage on Friday and the team of rescuers and volunteers rescued it after being alerted by the Mumbai fire brigade.
The Leith’s Softshell Turtle is listed as ‘vulnerable’ / 'Critically Endangered' (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is protected under schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
"While responding to a distress call referred by Mulund Fire Station on Friday afternoon, a large turtle was found stranded in drainage which was rescued by our RAWW Rescue Team.
Efforts for stabilizing the turtle are on at the moment, and it had been further taken for medical examination in coordination with the Forest Department," said Pawan Sharma, conservationist, and founder of Mumbai-based NGO RAWW.
According to wildlife experts, the species has been involved in many turtle trade cases across the world.
"The Turtle was sent to Thane Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) where medical examinations were conducted and X-rays, measurement, etc of the Turtle were done.
According to the doctors, there was no external injury and the turtle seemed to be physically fit. "However we are awaiting the X-ray and other reports to find out if the turtle has any internal injuries," said Ritu Sharma, one of the trustees and helpline administrator of RAWW.
The wildlife rescuers said that only once the turtle is declared and confirmed to be fit and in good health, it will be released to its natural habitat.