After a decade, the Bostami turtles stage a comeback in Tripura
THE SOFT-SHELL turtles, Nilssonia nigricans, popularly known as Bostami turtles,laid eggs near the holy lake of Tripureswari temple in Udaipur, 55 km from Agartala, in the first week of June this year. For the first time in a decade, as many as 10 baby turtles were seen toddling on the National Highway 44A during a heavy downpour in the city. About 163 eggs were hatched in over a month on the eastern fringe of the lake.According to the lake management committee, turtles breed between March and July. Most of them strolled down the lake.Only 35 were shifted to the Sepahijala Zoological Park in Bishalgarh,Tripura, on an experiment basis, says Mihir Kumar Das,a scientist with the Tripura State Pollution Control Board (tspcb).
It is ironical that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (iucn) says that the turtle species is extinct in the wild,though it remains listed under India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.The turtles were found near the 15th century temple, constructed by King Dhanyamanikya. It is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the country, and considered to be one of the 51 Shakti Peethas (places of worship to