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Srikurmam village temple in Andhra Pradesh breeds 55 baby star tortoises

Times of India, Delhi, 21st July 2014


Southern India's only temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu's second avatar Srikurmanadha (in the form of a tortoise) in Srikurmam, a tiny village 15 km away from here, bred 55 baby star tortoises from July 7 to July 20 this year, an environmental organization said here today. In order to protect the dwindling number of endangered wild species, the endowments department with the co-operation of Green Mercy, an environmental organisation bred 55 hatchlings bred within a span of 15 days, which the organisation has claimed, is a world record. In 1990, 50 tortoises were hatched at the Gladys Zoo enclosure in USA, the environmental organization's representative K V Ramana Murty said. The news has attracted the attention of people who are queuing up to see the hatchlings. Star tortoises are found in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. The government of India brought it under Schedule 4 of the Wild Animal Protection Act. "Our aim is to protect endangered species and provide live image of Lord Vishnu in Kurmavatar to devotees," Endowments Department assistant commissioner V Syamaladevi said.