Indonesia 2013 Part 5 - Turtle soup, saving softshelled turtles
Kura Kura (Turtle) Soup
turtle soup on the menu? Well it nearly was. I got to the restaurant
where Artik works in the evening. They show me a bucket, inside is a
rather unhappy looking Softshelled Turtle. As usual in these situations
in Indonesia I assume that the word was out and another Kura Kura
whistled up just for me, how wrong could I be? Making the most of the
situation we take the turtle home. Next day I plan to measure, weigh and
morning our softshelled friend is looking fine, if a little bored and
resigned to his bucket fate. Now Artik informs me that the Kura Kura was
found by builders near the restaurant. They were intending to take it
home and make turtle soup. If Artik had not insisted that they should
not kill it and leave it for me, our little turtle today would not be in
a bucket but a builders stomach. I feel a little bad for taking free
food away from the builders. At the same time this wonderful creature
could have another 70 years head of it. I can see they would little
understand why Artik was so instant, they probably think we took it home
and now the turtle in our stomachs. Would they really think we were mad
enough to take pictures and then put it back? Not really on the radar
for a potentially starving builder.
We take it to a
stream where photos are taken as I avoid its teeth and claws. I then go
to take it to the water where it becomes excited and wants out. I
release it onto the stream. Immediately with neck stretched out, it
drives deep and vanishes. We then go home with a bucket full of turtle
urine, and a camera full of saved and recorded turtle.
had thought that we should keep him, her mind being on the captive
breeding centre track. However I said that he would be better in the
wild, if he could avoid builders stomachs. At least this turtle had a
second chance because I was here in Bukit Lawang. I did mention Joko
Guntoro's captive breeding centre but felt holding onto the poor thing
for long enough for collection would be unfair, even assuming Joko would
want it. Seeing the Kura Kura free, for the moment, hopefully for his
lifetime, did make me feel a lot better, regardless of what a Indonesian
builder may think of me.
Kura Kura Soup - 2nd turtle saved from the pot
at the restaurant and another softshell turtle is waiting for me. This
one is more aggressive. Was found in the stream next to the restaurant.
They were going to make turtle soup but Artik told them not to. The
others there tell me how nice it would have tasted. I take our turtle
home. I weigh, measure and take photos.
turtle waits patiently all night. In the morning we take it to the
stream that leads to the jungle and let it go. I leave the bucket laying
down but it is almost as if it was resigned to being soup. Then it
makes for the water with what looks like turtle surprise on its face.
All pictures here: https://picasaweb.google.com/jtuijl