More than 100,000 yellow spotted river turtles were just released into a river in Bolivia. Why? Because this particular turtle species is endangered (thanks to human activity). In an effort to fight that, the Bolivian government just released the turtles back into the wild. And they’re super cute.
100,000 River Turtles Released Into The Wild | The Dodo
So, thanks to humans, these turtles are nearly endangered. That’s because of the turtle egg and meat trade, which is a serious thing in more than just Bolivia, but South East Asia as well. While we don’t approve of the turtle egg and meat trade, there are several reasons why they occur.
Here are some top 3 reasons turtle egg and meat are consumed:
- A lack of suitable nutritional alternatives for the local communities.
- Cultural and religious practices: For example, the belief in aphrodisiac or medicinal properties of turtle eggs.
- The presence of a lucrative, mostly locally-based industry based on selling eggs.
Sadly, these reasons cause the death of hundreds upon hundreds of turtles every year. That’s why Bolivia is standing up to the turtle egg and meat industry by releasing more turtles into the wild. The particular species they released was nearly hunted to the point of endangerment! Releasing more into the wild will at least give these turtles more of a fighting chance. The hope is that these turtles will grow up safe so that their species will be around for a long, long time.
What you can do to help:
The yellow spotted river turtles aren’t the only turtles in need of saving. There are many species of turtle that are affected by the turtle meat and egg industry. To learn more about what’s being done, check out this site. If you’d like to help protect sea turtles (these turtles are also consumed by humans) please support World Wildlife Fund (WWF) or adopt a turtle. If you can’t do either or, share this article to spread awareness!