The turtles started showing up at the Don Mauricio Elementary School in Bancao-bancao since the beginning of Brigada Eskwela in May and were believed to have escaped its keeper or pet owner. Their presence came as a shock to students, teachers, and residents since there are no swampy areas near the school’s vicinity.
The PCSD has rescued 37 turtles so far and more are expected to surface.
Local radio program 103.1 Brigada News reported on Thursday (June 4) a list of some of the species that were rescued by the PCSD, which included the Philippine Freshwater Turtle, the Southeast Asian Box Turtle, the Asian Leaf Turtle, and the Philippine Forest Turtle.
If PCSD’s suspicions are correct — that the said turtles just escaped from their keeper — the owner will then face charges in violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Philippine Wildlife Act.
The PCSD, meanwhile, is still investigating the peculiar case. The council also urged students and residents to turn over any of the turtles that they might have brought home to keep as pets so that the reptiles could be returned to their natural habitat.