“Our ultimate goal is to get him placed in a breeding program with an accredited facility so we can keep his species from going extinct."
An elderly man who could no longer care for his animals surrendered his giant Malaysian turtle (Orlitia borneoensis) to J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue in Menasha, Wisconsin. The turtle, named Francis, is a critically endangered species and is the largest freshwater turtle in Southeast Asia. It is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. It is unknown how old Francis is.
“The turtle lived with an elderly man with a lot of health issues in recent years, and his main caretaker was a cancer patient. It was their dying wish that Francis find a new place to live out his days,” John Moyles of J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue said in a statement sent to ReptilesMagazine.com. “J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue will be searching for a proper home for Francis as soon as he is checked over by a vet and deemed fit to travel. Francis was surrendered with two alligator snapping turtles, (Macrochelys temminckii), that will also be adoptable in the near future.”
“Our ultimate goal is to get him placed in a breeding program with an accredited facility so we can keep his species from going extinct,” Moyles told ReptilesMagazine.com.
Giant Malaysian Turtle Information
The giant Malaysian turtle is also known as the Malayan giant terrapin, giant black river turtle, and Bornean river turtle. It is rare to see in the wild and is native to Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia’s Sumatra island, and Borneo. (<em>Orlitia borneoensis</em>) grows to 31 inches in carapace length and weighs up to 110 pounds. It is found in large lakes, slow moving rivers and swamps. It is said to feed on fish. The chelonian is exported in Indonesia as a food source and is not protected in Malaysia or Indonesia. Threats to this species include habitat destruction for palm oil plantations and poaching for the so-called Chinese traditional medicine trade.