Eggs of a northern river terrapin (scientific name Batagur baska) started hatching at Karamjal wildlife breeding centre in the Sundarbans in Bagerhat yesterday, 67 days after laying of the eggs.
Twenty-one eggs of the reptile species, one of Asia’s largest freshwater and brackwater turtles, hatched out as filing this report yesterday evening and the process of hatching continued.
The offspring are coming out through natural incubation (a process of keeping them in sand) from the 32 eggs laid on March 11 by a female terrapin at the breeding centre in Chandpai range of the East Sundarbans, said Divisional Forest Officer Mahmudul Hasan.
“The Batagur baska laid eggs for the third time in this breeding centre. Earlier, in 2017, two terrapins laid 63 eggs and 57 offspring were born. In 2018, two terrapins laid 46 eggs, from which 24 babies came out,” he said.
Four female adults are enabling to lay eggs here.
A few years ago, wildlife researchers found four male and four female Batagur Baska in different ponds of Noakhali and Barishal.
Then the turtles were taken to the breeding centre at Bhawal National Park in Gazipur, where 94 turtles were hatched.
In 2014, the eight adult Batagur baskas and their 94 offspring were brought to Karamjal wildlife breeding centre.
Currently there are 190 turtles at the centre, the forest officer said.
Batagur baska is one of the 10 most critically endangered turtles in the world and can only be found in the wild in the mangroves of Bangladesh and India.