Kendrapara: A star tortoise, weighing nearly two 2 kgs, was found at Putali village in Kendrapara district on Saturday. The rare and endangered tortoise attracted many locals from the village and its nearby areas for its coloured shell. After knowing about the presence of the star tortoise in the village, forest officials rushed to the spot and rescued it.
Later, the tortoise was released in a nearby forest at Maha Binayak, said Adhir Behera, forest range officer of Kendrapara. Indian star tortoises consume grass, herbaceous leaves, fruits and flowers. When food becomes scarce during summer, they are capable of turning inactive for a long period without consuming food, the forest officer said. The Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is a threatened species and is found in dry areas and scrub forest in India and Sri Lanka. This species is much in demand in the exotic pet trade.