Harippad: The mass deaths of white tortoises in the Upper Kuttanad area have alarmed locals as well as authorities. The casualties were noticed by the local people when the foul smell from the tortoise carcasses spread from the water bodies and paddy fields.
The fatalities have been attributed to a disease caused by garbage. Local people say that the recent floods had brought a big amount of waste materials to the area. However, black tortoises have not been affected by the disease.
Earlier, local species of fish were found have been suffering from a fungus infection in Upper Kuttanad.
However, officials of the Animal Husbandry Department said that no report regarding carcasses of white tortoises floating in the water bodies and paddy fields of Upper Kuttanad had reached them. It was noticed that some tortoises in the Muhamma area had died of a virus infection named iridochoroiditis, an inflammation of the iris and the choroid, the officials said.