logo

A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.

- John James Audubon

image

Environment

Nov 26, 2018

Rescued Indian Tortoises Fly Home to India on International Rescue Mission

In a unique repatriation mission, over 50 Indian Star Tortoises are finally flying home from where they were originally smuggled and sold into Singapore as victims of illegal wildlife trafficking.

WRITTEN BY

Sean Verity

This story was made available to The Outdoor Journal via a Wildlife SOS press release.

The 50 Indian Star Tortoises tortoises had been smuggled into Singapore illegally where they were confiscated by Singapore authorities. With cooperation from the Indian & Singapore Governments, they will now be repatriated to India and returned to their natural habitat in the forests of Karnataka.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, India based wildlife conservation charity Wildlife SOS working closely with the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Govt. of India secured permissions to repatriate the tortoises indigenous to India. Investigations confirmed Karnataka was the origin of the tortoises. A team of senior forest officers travelled with Wildlife SOS CEO Kartick Satyanarayan to Singapore to conduct physical inspection of the tortoises housed at the ACRES rescue center.

Rattle is one of the rescued tortoises

Singapore Airlines contributed to the cause of wildlife conservation by transporting the tortoises for free.

A three member team from Wildlife SOS India consisting of Veterinary Director Dr Arun A Sha, Special Projects Manager – Wasim Akram and Communication & Press Officer – Ms. Arinita Sandilya accompanied the tortoises from Singapore to India. They were joined by a three member team from Acres Singapore led by Anbarasi Boopal – Deputy CEO.

The tortoises were transported in specially designed boxes for the long plane journey and upon arrival in India, received by a team from Wildlife SOS including co founder Geeta Seshamani and former Chief Wildlife Warden and Head of forest force of Karnataka Mr. BK Singh.

The tortoises being prepped for their journey to India

Once the tortoises have completed their quarantine period of 3 months, Wildlife SOS intends to initiate radio tagging and monitor these animals for survival. This landmark project not only helps augment the endangered populations in India, but will also demonstrate the commitment from the Governments of India and Singapore and their zero tolerance to illegal wildlife trade.

Indian star tortoise is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and listed in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna), which regulates international trade of wildlife. Yet it is one of the most trafficked tortoise species in the world owing to the unique star-like radiating pattern on their shell. The Indian Star Tortoise is poached extensively for their meat and use of their body parts in traditional medicine as well as for the exotic pet trade. Illegal trafficking of tortoises from Southern India to places like Singapore, China, Honk Kong Thailand, Malaysia etc. fuel the demand for this species.

One of the rescued tortoises all set to come back to India

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO – Wildlife SOS said, “I am relieved that these tortoises are finally coming back to where they belong. I’m also delighted that the partnership between Wildlife SOS and ACRES resulted in a successful repatriation project. I’m grateful to the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF& CC), DGCA & Customs officials, Ministry of Agriculture, Government authorities of India & Singapore, Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka for their support and guidance.”

Anbarasi Boopal, Deputy Chief Executive of ACRES, said, “The odds never favoured us but our perseverance and sheer will together with support from Wildlife SOS paved the way for us to repatriate these animals. Blue, Rahayu and Boltz are just some of the animals we have repatriated in the past years which has led to our largest repatriation ever – the Indian star tortoises. We will continue our fight to end the illegal wildlife trade and strive to ensure that these animals stay where they belong – in the wild.”

Geeta Seshamani, Co founder & Secretary-Wildlife SOS said, “While we work together to put an end to illegal wildlife trafficking, it’s critical that such repatriation efforts are made to return these unique animals to their native habitat.”

Shri C.Jayaram, IFS, PCCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka said, “The Karnataka Forest Department is extremely happy to be a part of this unique opportunity to rehabilitate and release these tortoises back into their natural habitat.”

Dr Arun. A. Sha Director- Research & Veterinary Operations, Wildlife SOS said, “A team of Wildlife SOS field researchers will track these animals. A special soft release – anti predatory enclosure has been built by Wildlife SOS to prepare the tortoises for release into the wild. Each Tortoise will have visual identification (unique code on its carapace & plastron as well as microchips to identify individuals.”

Wasim Akram, Manager Wildlife SOS Special Projects said, “We have been working closely with the State forest department to identify a suitable location for soft release of these tortoises into their natural habitat. We will be installing radio telemetry devices (tags) to carry out post release monitoring to ensure their survival in the wild.

Continue Reading

image

Athletes & Explorers

Feb 07, 2019

Mountaineering Scene Mourns the Loss of Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry

The bodies of the highly experienced Scottish climbers were recovered on Wednesday following a fatal fall on Ben Hope in the Highlands.

image

WRITTEN BY

Brooke Hess

Andy Nisbet (65) and Steve Perry (47), two highly experienced members of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, died while climbing Ben Hope this past week. Mountaineering Scotland, an organization for climbing enthusiasts in Scotland, said they were “shocked and saddened” to learn of the deaths of Nisbet and Perry. “Their deaths are a huge loss to the mountaineering community in Scotland.”

“He has introduced literally thousands of people to winter climbing and has given them terrific adventures”

Ben Hope is Scotland’s most northerly Munro. Munro is the name given to a mountain in Scotland above 3,000ft. Nisbet and Perry were working on establishing new winter routes on the mountain when they experienced difficulties in their descent and ultimately fell to their deaths. Andy Nisbet is considered the most successful mountaineer to come out of Scotland. He has established over 1,000 winter routes and is extremely well-respected within the climbing community. Mountain guide and author, Martin Moran, spoke highly of Nisbet. “Andy Nisbet is obsessive and fanatical, but he is also a delightful person, and he is an all-around mountaineer. He has also, for a lot of his career, been a full-time instructor. He has introduced literally thousands of people to winter climbing and has given them terrific adventures, including new routes.”

“Climbing in Scotland is still my favorite”

When interviewed about expeditions abroad, Nisbet replied, “Climbing in Scotland is still my favourite.” Though he is known for his contributions to the development of Scottish climbing, Nisbet has also contributed a fair amount to routes around the world. “Andy has made an enormous contribution to Scottish mountaineering, but it mustn’t be forgotten that he has also made a contribution to Himalayan mountaineering as well,” says Martin Moran.

“Equipment is improving all the time, so my grade is not dropping!”

Andy Nisbet was known for continuing to pursue new routes and high alpine ascents well into an age where most climbers retire. At age 65, he was still establishing new routes on Munros and climbing as strong as ever. In a video by Dave MacLeod at the Fort William Mountain Festival, Nisbet was quoted saying, “Equipment is improving all the time, so my grade is not dropping!” He mentioned wanting to continue climbing as long as is physically possible. “I hope I’ll be able to go to the hills for a long time… It’s hard to know whether climbing will outlast walking. I used to think I would still hill-walk when I stopped climbing, but actually, you can carry on climbing for possibly longer than hill-walking. It just depends on which parts of the body give up first!”

Andy Nisbet swinging hard. Photo: Masa Sakano.

Steve Perry was also a well-known and highly experienced mountaineer. He had completed an on-foot round of the Munros in addition to his numerous impressive summer and winter climbing ascents. Perry had recently partnered with Nisbet to develop new winter routes on Ben Hope.

The International climbing community is mourning the loss of both climbers today. Cameron McNeish tweeted, “Utterly devastated this morning at the news of the loss of Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry on Ben Hope. Both were gargantuan and inspiring figures in Scotland’s mountaineering scene. A massive loss to us all.

Cover Photo: Image copyright – Dave McGimpsey

Recent Articles



The Death Zone

World champion free-diver Pierre Frolla sinks without air to depths unreachable by most scuba divers. One day he nearly didn't make it back to the surface.

Flow State: The Reason Why Alex Honnold and Steph Davis are not Adrenaline Junkies.

“When you’re pushing the limits of ultimate human performance, the choice is stark: it’s flow or die.”

The Rise of Ironman

Few in the passionate throng who anticipate the annual Ironman race realize how close the original idea for the race was to being left for dead. This is the story of Ironman’s unlikely genesis.

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Advertising

Analytics

Other