​Royal turtles are taken to conservation centre | Phnom Penh Post

Royal turtles are taken to conservation centre

National

Publication date
11 May 2017 | 07:40 ICT

Reporter : Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Yesenia Amaro

More Topic

New hatchlings of Cambodia’s national reptile, the royal turtle, were taken to the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Centre yesterday. WCS

After spending the last three months under the watchful eye of their own personal retinue of bodyguards, nine endangered royal turtles successfully broke free from their shells on Tuesday and were transferred to the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Centre, where they will be raised.

The nest of the critically endangered Batagur affinis turtle was discovered in February by a villager along the Kaong River in Koh Kong, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said yesterday. The Fisheries Administration and the WCS built a fence to protect the eggs and hired four villagers to guard the nest in Sre Ambel district’s Preah Ang Keo village until the eggs hatched, said Eng Mengey, WCS’s communications officer.

“There are only a few royal turtles left in the wild,” Mengey said. The royal turtle is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which tracks threatened species. Five other eggs in the nest did not hatch.

The turtle was believed extinct in Cambodia until 2000, when a small population was discovered by the Fisheries Administration and WCS in the Sre Ambel River system, Mengey said.

There are now 216 royal turtles living at the Koh Kong centre, and another 27 at the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity, Mengey said.

Fisheries Administration official Ouk Vibol said some 20 young royal turtles will be released into the wild in June or July.

Contact PhnomPenh Post for full article

SR Digital Media
#41 St 228, Phum 4 Sangkat Boeng Rang, Khan Doun Penh, Phnom Penh Cambodia

Tel: Celcard: 078 555 166/ 078 555 133
Smart: 086 822 999 / 086 277 999

Copyright © All rights reserved, The Phnom Penh Post