The discovery of a rare royal turtle dead from apparent electrocution in the Sre Amble river system in Koh Kong province will prompt more patrols along the stretch of water, fishery officials said.
“Illegal fishing is depleting fishery resources and [is] especially threatening to the survival of Royal Turtles,” which are still found only in the Sre Amble, wrote Eng Mengey, communications officer for Cambodia’s Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in an email on Thursday.
A press release from WCS said the reptile, weighing 9 kg and over 11 years old, was found last week in a protected area along the Kaong River, with marks on its head suggesting it was killed by electrofishing.
Mr. Mengey said the dead turtle was among 21 microchipped and released into the wild by WCS and the Fisheries Administration in 2015.
Less than 10 breeding royal turtle females are left in the wild, he said.
Currently, 206 royal turtles are being raised in waters at the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Center in western Cambodia.