People line the waters to feed and touch the turtles
Polluted waters of the shrine
These Critically Endagered black softshell turtles are forced to live in these polluted waters. Notice the ammonia burns on their bodies.
A woman drinks the waters from the Bostami shrine to receive its blessing
Black Soft-shell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans)
Found in only 2 temple ponds in the world and fed bananas as a tourist attraction
This caretaker dedicated space in his already very small room for the turtles.
He took extraordinary care of the incubating eggs
Once we proved we could hatch the eggs at a higher success rate than they historically have, we convinced them that the fate of the turtles is, in fact, in their hands, not God's
This caretaker for the incubating turtles was a janitor for the shrine
Headshot of hatchling
A head Kadem (religious leader) releases one of the hatchlings
A man bathes in the waters of the shrine to receive its blessing