Assam Forest and Environment Minister Parimal Shuklabaidya would release 40 hatchlings of the black soft shell turtle at Diphlu river near Kaziranga National Park (KNP) on Wednesday.
The Black Soft shell turtle is listed as extinct in the wild by IUCN. However, an NGO, Help Earth has joined hands with the Assam government to conserve the species.
The NGO had identified 15 temples across the state of Assam with turtles in them and created turtle conservation centers in some of them.
“One of their most important turtle conservation centre is at Haygriv Madhav temple at Hajo. In an effort to protect the turtle, Help Earth in association with temple management committee and district administration, successful breeding of very rare Black Soft shell turtle was being undertaken recently,” said an official.
“After the successful hatching, the turtles were reared in captivity for six months to make them ready to be released into the wild. The ready stocks were then translocated to Assam State Zoo under the supervision of the DFO, Tejas Mariswamy,” the officials said adding that the Diphlu river in Kaziranga National Park was selected for the release of the hatchlings.
“A total of 40 individuals would be released here by forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya in presence of PCCF (W) and other officials tomorrow,” the official said adding that the whole initiative was undertaken under the supervision of the then Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup, Vinod Seshan.