Chennai, December 25: A giant Aldabra tortoise has been reported missing from Crocodile Park at Mahabalipuram. The tortoise is the second largest in the world, weighing around 80-100 Kg. The incident being considered as a theft, occurred around six weeks back at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust Centre for Herpetology, but has been made public now only. As per estimates the tortoise is worth Rs 10 Lakh in the international markets. World's Oldest Tortoises: Alagba of Ogbomoso Dead; Here's A List of Other Shelled Animals Who Lived Beyond 100 Years And The Ones Who Continue to Live Past Century.
A case of theft as been registered and the police has launched the investigation. It is being considered an 'inside job' and the staff of the park are being questioned in the regard. According to the police, the suspected theft took place in the intervening night of November 11 and 12. It reportedly believes that the tortoise could have been stolen for possible medical benefits attributed to its body parts. Uttarakhand's First Tigress Shifted From Jim Corbett to Rajaji Tiger Reserve Under Translocation Project.
"There were no CCTVs near the enclosure of the giant tortoise, but we detected activity outside the park in the middle of the night. We suspect a vehicle carried the animal on ECR. We are working on some leads. We suspect there could be insider involvement," senior police officer E Sundaravathanam told NDTV.
Aldabra tortoises are among one of the world's largest land tortoises. They can reach sizes of up to 550 pounds and ages of up to 150 years old. They are native to Aldabra Island, one of the Seychelles northeast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.