LIMA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Peru released more than 5,000 baby
turtles into an Amazonian nature reserve this week, part of a
group of 700,000 being hatched artificially in 2017 to keep
their eggs from being depleted by excessive hunting in the wild,
a park official said on Wednesday.
The latest batch of baby yellow-spotted Amazon river turtles
was set free on Tuesday in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve,
said Alfredo Neyra, the head of the reserve.
Peru's park service regularly collects the turtles' eggs
from Amazonian river beaches, where they are sought for protein
by residents of the region of Loreto. The meat of adult turtles
is also eaten.
While the yellow-spotted Amazon river turtle is not
endangered, authorities discourage non-traditional hunting of
its eggs to avoid reducing the size of its population.
In the four years through 2016, about 2.1 million turtles
were artificially hatched and released, Neyra said.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing By Mitra Taj; Editing by
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