Marking World Turtle Day on May 23, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Cambodia) in collaboration with the Fisheries Administration and Kratie provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have released 100 endangered Cantor’s giant softshell turtles into the Mekong River in Kratie province.
WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha told The Post on May 23 that the release at Koh Preus sandy beach in O’Krasaing village in Sambor district’s Boeung Char commune on May 21 marks the success of a joint effort between the government and partner organisations in rehabilitating the endangered species.
“We have taken care of the animals’ nests and eggs, and we have released them into their natural habitat,” he said. “[This release] is indicative of the stability and habitat capacity of this rare species. If they are not safe, we will not let them go.”
Serey Rotha said that despite threats to the turtle from illegal fishing, public awareness has increased. He said the hatchlings were gathered in villages in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces. The patrol team feed them before releasing them into their natural habitat.