Thousands of endangered river turtles released into Amazon wild

Thousands of endangered Taricaya turtles have been released in Peru's Amazon region as part of efforts to conserve the majestic species on the verge of extinction.
A volunteer conservationist holds recently hatched baby turtles near Volta do Bucho in the Western Amazon region on Sept 19, 2017.
A volunteer conservationist holds recently hatched baby turtles near Volta do Bucho in the Western Amazon region on Sept 19, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

RIO PACAYA, PERU (REUTERS) Thousands of endangered Taricaya turtles have been released in Peru's Amazon region as part of efforts to conserve the majestic species on the verge of extinction.

On Tuesday (Oct 17), staff from Peru's National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) released some 5,000 baby turtles as part of an ongoing programme.

The Taricaya eggs were collected from the beaches and incubated until they hatched.

The Taricaya were once in abundance along the Amazon but due to development and logging in the region their population numbers have been under pressure.

Peru's government has classified the animals as "vulnerable" and officials hope that the mass release of the turtles will give the area a population boost.