Local youths on Tuesday rescued a Chinese softshell turtle (Scientific name: Pelodiscus Sinensis) from the Pachin Colony area in Arunachal Pradesh’s Naharlagun.

They later handed over the turtle to the Biological Park in Itangar.

Biological Park curator Raya Flago who received the reptile, has on behalf of the department of environment and forests thanked the youths — Hillang Nima, Yarda Tasap, Dolang John, Gangte Vijay and Dado Obing for rescuing the vulnerable species and requested them to continue the noble work of saving the rich fauna of the state.

Dr Sorang Tadap, the Biological Park veterinary officer inspected the turtle and it was found to be visibly healthy.

The Chinese softshell turtle belongs to the softshell family, Trionychidae, which includes the American softshell turtle, Cantor’s giant softshell turtle, Florida softshell turtle and many others.

They prefer to spend most of their lives in water and are adapted to absorb oxygen through their skin and the lining of the throat when fully submerged in water.

These turtles are agile swimmers and good hunters and they will bite and scratch if touched so they must be handled with care.

The Chinese softshell turtle prefers to eat while in water. They are carnivores and eat insects, worms and crustaceans.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com