Animal Conservation

Endangered king turtle rescued from fisherman

A 14kg female king turtle, one of the critically endangered species that was released into the wild last year, was caught by a fisherman last week. WCS Cambodia

A 14kg female king turtle, one of the critically endangered species that was released into the wild last year, was caught by a fisherman last week. Luckily, she was rescued thanks to the local Wildlife Alliance network, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Cambodia.

The turtle was returned to the WCS Cambodia turtle conservation team in Sre Ambel district of Koh Kong province.

The turtle was confiscated from a local fisherman at his home by Wildlife Alliance rangers stationed along the Chi Phat River immediately after being alerted by their local network. It was reported that the fisherman accidentally snagged the reptile.

WCS said that according to data obtained from a microchip implanted in her hind leg, the female was released into the wild in 2021. She weighed 8kg at the time. According to the date, the turtle had traveled more than 100km to the southwest from where it was released.

“Without collaboration with the Wildlife Alliance and funding from the European Union, this critically endangered national reptile of Cambodia could have ended up in the illegal wildlife trade. The reptile is safe at WCS where it will receive a health check. She will soon be released back into the wild,” WCS said.