Increasing golden deer, tortoises face killing in Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary

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Picture shows tortoises eating vegetables. Photo: Zayyatu (Magway))

Although the endangered species of Myanmar golden deer and star tortoises are yearly increasing in Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Minbu district, they are being killed by many reasons, according to the Region Forest Department.
Therefore, the officials from the wildlife sanctuary and staff from the forest department have to take good care of them.
“The new golden deer are also given birth on the yard, displayed for the public to observe. According to the survey data, the number of golden deer has increased in the forest. On the other hand, they are also being killed by the people, and killing cases are on the rise. We are also worried about the declining number of gold deer species. We are also breeding the star tortoises in the forest, 26 miles away from the wildlife sanctuary for them to be able to live naturally,” said U Htay Maung, the director of the Regional Forest Department.
Of 650 star tortoises trained to be released into the wild, 357 died and disappeared for many reasons on 15 July 2019. According to the official data, 157 star tortoises were missing from the barbed wire fence on 12 January 2020.
“The star tortoises died for many reasons with some being eaten by the wild pigs because of being unsafe on farms and also because of starvation. Additionally, they were shot by the people because their dwelling lake is close to the road. The residents have fear to report on these cases to the related authorities,” said U Thein, a resident from Minbu township.
“There are eight male deer, and 25 female deer in the yard set up in 2010 near Man Shwesettaw Pagoda for the people to observe. There are also more than 1,100 golden deer in the wildlife sanctuary and over 1,000 star tortoises at the breeding farms in the wildlife sanctuary,” said U Htay Maung.
The star tortoises that are native to Myanmar are functionally extinct, according to a survey. Since 1999, the department has rehabilitated tortoises in Shwesettaw under a conservation programme.
There are 14 mammals’ species, 43 amphibians’ species, 39 butterfly species and 113 bird species in Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary. — Zayyatu (Magway) (Translated by Hay Mar)

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A herd of deer in Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: Zayyatu (Magway)
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