A female 14kg royal turtle, one of a critical endangered species which was released into the wild last year, was caught by fisherman last week. Luckily, she was rescued thanks to the Wildlife Alliance’s local network, according to Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Cambodia.

The turtle was returned to the WCS Cambodia Turtle Conservation team in Sre Ambel district of Koh Kong province.

The turtle was confiscated from a local fisherman at his home by wildlife alliance rangers stationed along the Chi Phat River immediately after they were alerted by their local network. It was reported that the fisherman had accidentally hooked the reptile.

WCS said that according to data obtained through a microchip implanted in her back leg, the female was released into the wild in 2021. She weighed 8kg at the time. According to the date, the turtle had travelled more than 100km to the southwest from where she was released.

“Without the collaboration with the wildlife alliance and funding from the European Union, this critically endangered and national reptile of Cambodia could have ended up as part of the trade in illegal wildlife. The reptile is secure at WCS where she will receive a health check. She will be returned to the wild soon,” WCS said.