Releasing Khairul – Name Given to Male Painted Terrapin – Back to Habitat

                Khairul eventually released back into their original habitat. Khairul is the name we given to male of Painted Terrapin was released on July 26 at 2:55 pm. This male who weighs 9.5 kg, length (curve line carapace) 40.2 cm and width (curve) 38.6 cm released after about 7 days in the captivity of fishermen. Khairul was caught by the fishing nets on 20 July in area of Kuala Peunaga. This area is the only remaining area that rich of riverside vegetation Berembang (Sonneratia sp.)

We received news of the captured of Khairul on June 26, about 11:30 am, from Datuk Laksamana – traditional leader for sea management in Aceh Tamiang District. Datuk Laksamana received information from Khairul Alam, 15 years old students. Khairul Alam is one of the students involved in FGD (Focussed Group Discussion) about formulating the educational material to save Painted Terrapin that we carried out in last June. Meanwhile, Datuk Laksamana is one of the volunteers who very often to assist us in providing information from the field.

After receiving a telephone report from Datuk Laksamana, we went straight to his house in the village Sungai Kurok III. Arriving at his house, one of our local volunteers – Abdul Hakim, 22 years old – rushed off to the fisherman’s house to take that male.

At about 1:00 pm, Hakim and Khairul Alam arrived at Datuk’s house carrying male of Painted Terrapin. Then, we carefully check the surface of his carapace, plastron, head, mouth, tail and feet to see if there were injuries that might be caused by nets or wrong treatment during in fishermen captivity. Thankfully, there were no injuries caused by the net or during kept by fishermen. The male also showed the aggressiveness of the movement. He has a carapace length (curve) 40.2 cm, width (curve) 38.6 cm and weighs 9.5 kg. While at fishermen house, this male was kept in a bucket – about half a meter in diameter – and fed bananas and spinach.

Then, we marked an ID by cutting his marginal of carapace edge and gave him a name Khairul. This name was given to appreciate the Khairul Alam’s attitude, 15-year-old student, who gives information about the caught by fishermen to Datuk Laksamana, and then Datuk forwarded to us. By giving this name, we also hope to fostering the emotional relation between humans and Painted Terrapin.

After all of the basic data obtained, we brought Khairul to Titi Putus river – name of the river in the village Sungai Kurok III that bordering to Seruway Mangrove Forest- to be released. At around of 2:55 pm, Khairul released to swim to the river which has about 5 meter depth. Titi Putus river is approximately 45 minutes by boat to Kuala Peunaga area – location where Khairul caught by fishermen on 20 July.

An interesting note is that after the releasing, this male was not disappeared in the river directly. But, diving and swimming appeared on the surface of the river with his nose above the water surface. This activity was repeatedly carried out and lasted approximately more than 40 minutes. This is different phenomena with another releasing we had been conducted before where after released into the river, usually the Painted Terrapin would disappear immediately in the water. Could it be the Khairul’s way to thank and farewell to us? J (admin)

video of releasing :


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