This Indian star tortoise, munching on some leafy greens and flowers, is one of 51 illegally trafficked tortoises that were repatriated by Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) to Bangalore yesterday. They were carefully put into crates for their flight back to India.
This is the largest number of Indian star tortoises sent home to date. An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 star tortoises are taken from the wild every year to meet the demand in the growing exotic pet trade in countries like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. But these tortoises do not make good pets. They require a special nutritious diet, the lack of which will result in deformities like soft shells and organ failure.