by Heather Lowe
In April, Lucknow, India experienced a massive thunderstorm. As a result, many trees were uprooted at the Turtle and Gharial Breeding Centre at Kukrail. Most of the trees fell in open areas and ponds which house breeding gharials and crocodiles, which will require extensive cleanup. However, the most significant damage was done to Red-Crowned Roof Turtle (Batagur kachuga) enclosure.
A very large, old tree fell during the storm and caused more than half of the steel and iron structure to collapse onto the pond below. This pond holds 32 turtles which have just about reached maturity and the TSA India team hopes to see them breeding soon. Thankfully, none of the animals were harmed.
The staff is working hard to clear the fallen tree, but the damage to the enclosure is the greater concern. The cost of these unanticipated repairs could be significant, but there is no choice but to rebuild as quickly as possible. With the integrity of the enclosure compromised, the turtles could be exposed to small predators such as jackals, mongooses or dogs.
Donations to the India program to help cover these unforeseen expenses would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made online anytime by clicking here. Thank you for your support!