Fifty-one Indian star tortoises that had been rescued in Singapore over the past nine years have been repatriated back to India, their source of origin, on Nov 26, 2018. The Indian star tortoise has been listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List – just one rung below from being an endangered species. Despite being banned from international trade, these reptiles are highly sort after for their beautiful shells, which are adorned with intricate star-shaped patterns. The 51 tortoises, which were illegally smuggled into Singapore, enjoyed a safe return home as a result of the initiative by an animal welfare group, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres). The effort cost the group around $53,000, some of which was raised after Tamil Murasu and Tabla! raised awareness for its campaign with articles and videos in both Tamil and English published in late 2018.
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