Very rare tortoise found in Kerala

Conservationists have discovered a rare species of turtle in Kerala.

According to the BBC, the team included conservationists from the University of Portsmouth and discovered the nest of Canter's Giant Softshell Turtle.

Native to the rivers of South and Southeast Asia, this species is classified as Critically Endangered.

The University of Portsmouth said in a release that the turtle was found on the banks of the Chandragiri River in Kerala.

The study further said that the team of researchers talked to the local people who took them to the river.

It has been published in Oryx Journal.

The study was led by conservationists from the University of Portsmouth and the Zoological Society of London in England, the University of Miami, the Museum of Zoology at the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research in Germany, the Florida Museum of Natural History in the US and the Wildlife Institute of India.

This species is disappearing

"Known for its rarity and secretive nature, this species has long been a subject of fascination and concern among conservationists," the researchers said in the study.

"Habitat destruction has caused it to disappear from its environment. They are also killed by local people for meat and are often killed by fishermen when entangled in fishing gear," it says.

Dr Francois Cabada-Blanco, an expert at the university, told the BBC: "For years, the existence of the canter tortoise has been barely a rumor against the backdrop of India's bustling biodiversity, so rare to see that the tortoise's very presence is like a ghost. It seems."

The expert further said that the team was "able to engage the community really effectively".

The discovery marks the first documentation of a female nest and eggs being rescued from flooded nests, the university said.

"Later the children were left in the river."