In a unique repatriation mission launched by Wildlife SOS India & ACRES Singapore, over 50 Indian Star Tortoises are finally flying to their rightful home in India from where they were originally smuggled and sold into Singapore as victims of illegal wildlife trafficking.
The tortoises were 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. 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.
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.