Another impressed tortoise discovered

BANDERDEWA, Aug 23: A male Manouria impressa, also known as the impressed tortoise, was discovered in Kakoi area under the Banderdewa sub-forest division in Papum Pare district this week.
This is the second such sighting since the first discovery of an impressed tortoise in this part of the country in June this year.
The recently sighted tortoise is a young male, which was rescued by one Waru Nakong, a native of Kakoi.
“From the time I saw an earlier news report on the rescue of a tortoise, which was later handed over to the Itanagar zoo, I was concerned and told my father not to kill a tortoise if he happened to see one in future,” Nakong said. He said his father sighted the tortoise and informed him about it.
“Earlier, the villagers used to kill tortoises for food, but now I am hopeful that they will acknowledge its importance and not kill the endangered species,” Nakong said.
Hapoli Forest Division Range Forest Officer Bunty Tao had in June discovered the first impressed tortoise in Yazali in Lower Subansiri district. The rescued tortoise is currently being housed at the botanical park in Itanagar.
Of the three Manouria impressa tortoises currently being housed at the Itanagar zoo, two are males and one is a female.
“Because of the first discovery of this rare tortoise species in Arunachal, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has written a letter of appreciation to the state forest department,” informed Tao.
The discovery of the Manouria impressa in Yazali increased the number of non-marine chelonian and tortoise species in the country to 29.
According to an expert, the male is smaller than the female, which is 30 cms in length.
“This species of tortoise eats mushroom, cucumber and pumpkin, along with a few other selective food items,” informed SC Paul, a forester at the Itanagar biological park.