The filthy, broken fountain in front of a police station that held six miserable Indian flap shell turtles was worse than any jail cell.

Six Indian flap shell turtles were being denied a proper habitat.

The turtles tried desperately to escape their captivity by piling on top of one another, but the fountain was far too deep—stranding them without any way out of the dirty water. After seeing their attempts to free themselves, a station maintenance person called Animal Rahat for help.

When the team arrived, they were aghast at the overgrowth of algae and dismal conditions in the fountain. They quickly conferred with the forestry department and acted to rescue the turtles. Animal Rahat staff scooped each turtle out of the fountain, only to find their bodies covered with leeches. Staff meticulously picked every leech off and disinfected the turtles to remove the algae and bacteria from their shells.

An Animal Rahat team member stands in the fountain, gently handing each turtle to a team member above.

The turtles were then released into their natural habitat, where they could again bask in the sun, burrow in the mud, and munch on vegetation and fish.