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June 03, 2020

Over 60 star tortoises died of exposure heat, heat exposure, food shortage this month

Star tortoises seen at the Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Minbu District, Magway Region. Photo: Zayyatu (Magway)

OVER 60 star tortoises died due to high temperatures and shortage of food in May, prompting the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division to make efforts to protect the tortoises from heat exposure at the Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Minbu District, Magway Region.
“A total of 62 star tortoises died because of the scorching heat and shortage of food. Therefore, star tortoises are currently being nursed under palm thatch roofs to protect them from dehydration and hunger. The tortoises are being fed watermelons, water cress, and injected glucose, and are being bathed,” said U Thein Lwin, a staff officer serving at the sanctuary.
The star tortoises who died were four years old, and were being trained to be released in the sanctuary. They belonged to a group of 650 tortoises which had been sent to the forest in February. Since then, 63 star tortoises were bred in the sanctuary.
“The Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary started with 12 star tortoises in 1999 and now, the number of tortoises has increased to 530. A total of 1,750 star tortoises from Shwesettaw, Lawkananda, and Minwontaung sanctuaries were trained to be released in the sanctuary, but about 1,000 star tortoises were set free,” said a staff from the Shwesettaw sanctuary.
These rare species usually inhabit the Shwesettaw sanctuary, according to one survey. Since 1999, Myanmar star tortoises have been listed as critically endangered. Efforts have been on to conserve the tortoises for 20 years.
There are 14 species of mammals, 43 species of amphibians, 39 species of butterflies, and 113 bird species at the sanctuary. The golden deer, star tortoise, and other rare species can only be seen at the sanctuary. — Zayyatu (Magway)
(Translated by La Wonn)


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