Herpetologist Jayaditya Purkayastha is trying to support a comeback of the Black Softshell Turtle in India. These turtles are native to the Bramaputra River and some parts of Bangladesh. They have nearly become extinct in the wild, due to being hunted for meat and religious beliefs that have confined them to the temple ponds in Assam. Purkayastha worked with temple officials and got an agreement to improve the food and habitat for turtles on the temple’s grounds. Then, as the turtle breeding cycles yielded more hatchlings, they have been releasing turtles into the wild -- after careful observation that they're healthy. Three hundred turtles have been released so far. Purkayastha hopes to gain funding that would allow for tracking the turtles in the wild.

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