As the year draws to a close, many will be delighted to see the back of 2020 and look forward to New Year but in November, a team of turtle champions successfully released 13 Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii mouhotii) into the primary forest of a national park in northern Vietnam.
The team, a collaboration between the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC), Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre (HWRC) and Cuc Phuong National Park (CPNP), saw the safe return of these 13 animals to their natural home. The Keeled Box Turtle is an endangered species, according to the IUCN Red List, and is protected by Decree 06/2019/ND-CP in Vietnam. The subspecies Cuora mouhotii mouhotii has a more northerly distribution in a number of southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam while a second subspecies is found in the south and central Vietnam, Cuora mouhotii obsti.
These turtles were rescued by HWRC, following a confiscation by Ha Noi police in July 2020, where they underwent a period of rehabilitation to bring them back to full health. With technical support from ATP/IMC, the turtles were given final health checks and were injected with PIT tags (identification microchips) before they were returned to the wild.
21st November 2020
Press release by: Nguyen Thu Thuy – ATP/IMC