Animals

Mumbai: Over 60 exotic turtles, marine pets abandoned in last six months, raising concern | Mumbai News

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Mumbai: A shocking statistic reports that nearly 60 exotic turtles – mostly red-eared sliders – have been cruelly abandoned by pet owners in the past six months during the ongoing pandemic.
Most of these abandoned sea pets have been rescued by the NGO Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) from Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mumbai.
Just on Sunday, a red-eared sliding turtle was found at Juhu Beach, near Mumbai’s Ramada Hotel, according to lawyer Anil D’Souza, who visited the beach with his family.
Pawan Sharma, Honorary Supervisor of Wildlife and founder of RAWW, said: “Recently, two red-eared snowboarders were rescued from Airoli c Creek (on December 2) and a water park in Ghansoli (on November 21). Pet owners who are unable to care for these exotic pets during a pandemic are relentlessly releasing such marine species into ponds, lakes, and even beaches. However, since these foreign breeds cannot survive for long, they must be saved.
Sharma added that besides rescue operations in Navi Mumbai and Thane districts, exotic turtles and even Indian star turtle species within Mumbai were also rescued in CST, Dadar, Andheri, Chembur, Powai, Santacruz, Kanjurmarg and Mulund among other areas earlier this year. . Some turtles have also been abandoned in gardens or dumped inside litter boxes. It is better to hand over exotic pets to a non-governmental organization responsible for the animals, if the owners of the pets cannot afford to maintain them.”
Red-eared sliders are originally from South America and Mexico; But because of their attractive appearance, they are smuggled all over the world to be sold as pets.
“The release of exotic marine animals into the native Indian environment is harmful and illegal because it can lead to interspecies conflict with native tortoises and tortoises. The Wildlife Crimes Bureau has in the past taken action against the smuggling of exotic turtles and other wild species.”

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