The two Southeast Asian box turtles turned over to the PCSDS on September 13 and 14. (Photos courtesy of the PCSDS)

Two city residents recently handed over to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) two Southeast Asian box turtles they discovered along the roads in Barangay Sicsican and Barangay San Pedro.

The PCSDS, in a posted statement on social media, said they were turned over by Jepee Valdestamon and Joshua Bisquer on September 13 and 14 respectively.

The first Southeast Asian box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) was found crawling on the ground along Rampano Road, Purok Ilang-Ilang in Sicsican on September 11 by Ruben Orteza, Valdestamon’s brother-in-law.

The next was discovered by Bisquer while he was walking along Nadayao Road in Brgy. San Pedro on September 13.

Valdestamon told the PCSDS that his brother-in-law was concerned that if the turtle was left abandoned, something bad would happen to it, so Orteza brought it to their house and took care of it.

“Knowing that it needs to be returned to its original habitat, Mr. Orteza requested Mr. Valdestamon’s assistance in turning over the wildlife species to PCSDS, where it may be protected and properly cared for,” the PCSDS said.

Bisquer also took the turtle he found to his house to keep it safe. He shared its photo on Facebook in the hopes that someone would point him in the right direction for the turtle’s rescue.

When he learned he could give the turtle over to PCSDS, he enlisted the help of his girlfriend, Shela Mae Ebo, who assisted him in handing the turtle over to the PCSDS office.

The two Southeast Asian Box turtles, listed as “Endangered Species” under PCSD Resolution 15-521, were in good shape when they were turned over, said the PCSDS.

The PCSDS urges persons who happen to find or rescue wildlife to turn them over to their office, which can be contacted through hotline numbers 0935-116-2336 (Globe/TM) and 0948-937-2200 (Smart/TNT).