Press Release. Acress Largest Ever Repatriation To..




SINGAPORE 26 November 2018 – Today, ACRES, together with the partner organisation Wildlife SOS India, will be reversing the whole process of the illicit wildlife trade, from the poaching, smuggling, illegal possession and sales of star tortoises by repatriating 51 Indian star tortoises back to the wild in India.

This is ACRES ’s largest repatriation of rescued wild animals who are returning to the wild, giving these animals back their freedom, possibly for the first time in a long time.

This also sees a landmark event for Singapore and India as they demonstrate their strong commitment to ending the illegal wildlife trade.

For more than 8 years, ACRES has cared for these endangered tortoises. As wild animals who are not suitable to live in Singapore’s climate, local non-profit organisation ACRES has put in immense efforts to provide optimal care, from a varied diet, intensive veterinary care, environmental conditions and enrichment to keep them healthy and fit for travel.

Every year, an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 star tortoises are taken from the wild just to meet the demand in the growing exotic pet trade in countries like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. This exploitation is the main cause of the dwindling Indian star tortoise population which are now listed as vulnerable.

Tonight, 51 tortoises will fly to Bangalore, from where ACRES’s partner organisation Wildlife SOS India will carefully manage the quarantine, soft-release, rehabilitation and intensive monitoring programmes in a protected reserve.

Anbarasi Boopal, Deputy Chief Executive of ACRES, shares, “The odds never favoured us but our perseverance and sheer will together with support from Wildlife SOS India 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”.

ACRES continues to care for several other wild species rescued from the illegal wildlife trade such as red-footed tortoises, radiated tortoises, pig-nosed turtles, green iguanas, snapping turtles and a variety of snake species including blood pythons. ACRES’s Animal Crime Investigation Unit probes and monitors the illegal wildlife trade in Singapore, working closely with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) to tackle the issue.

The partnership with Wildlife SOS (India) played a key role to the repatriation. 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.”

Tremendous support came from the Government of India who provided a secured location for release, with the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) issuing the necessary permits. “AVA supports ACRES’ repatriation of the star tortoises to India. To this end, we had engaged the Indian authorities on the repatriation and issued a CITES permit to ACRES to repatriate the star tortoises in India.” said Dr Anna Wong, Director of Import and Export Regulation Department, AVA.

Cargo sponsor Singapore Airlines, main sponsor The Silent Foundation, and several individuals also donated to make this project a reality.

In this light, ACRES urges everyone to play a part by saying no keeping wild animals as pets or buying wild animal products.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/ACRESasia/photos/a.223077136522/101..




ACRES (Animal Concerns Research & Education Society) is a pioneering Singapore-based charity and Institution of Public Character, founded by Singaporeans in 2001 with the aim of promoting animal welfare.

ACRES has six focus areas: Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Wildlife Crime Investigation, Zoo Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Community Outreach and Promoting Cruelty-Free Living.

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