West Africa Tortoise Research Centre opens at Assin Homaho

Assin-Homaho (C/R), June 13, GNA – A multi-purpose West Africa Tortoise Research Centre has been opened at Assin Homaho, a farming community in the Assin South District of the Central Region.

The Centre, first of its kind in Africa, is solely devoted to breeding, studying, protecting land tortoise, marine turtles and terra pines species together with other endangered species.

It has a natural site with a surface area of two hectares where visitors learn about the secrets life of tortoise and turtles with a modern hatchery, nursery and tortoise clinic.

Mr Adam Mohammed, Manager of the facility, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the Centre plays an important role in the restoration of the ecosystem; promote research and employment to support the development of the community.

‘Tortoise is among 154 reptile species in Ghana regarded as endangered. One is critically endangered and two are extremely vulnerable and threatened.’

The village played host to hundreds of domestic and bush animals particularly eight genus, six species of tortoise and 15 sub-species regarded as severely endangered.

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Common among them are Bells hinge-back, Zombensis, Lobatse, Pyxis planicuda, Serrated, Pyxis Arachnies bryooi, Pancake and Home hinge-back.

The Manager said attached to the facility is also an evergreen rainforest that serves as a home to several endangered mammals including elephants, bongo antelopes and primates like the Diana monkey.

The Manager said the facility, which is being run in collaboration with the Game and Wildlife Service, is also rich in butterflies and birds, including African grey parrots, hornbills, bee-eaters and blue-plantain eaters.

He said when new animals are brought to the site, they are first medically examined and released to familiarize themselves with their new home.

Nana Amoah Duodu II, chief of Assin Homaho, said tortoise are one of the most abused and exploited animals for food sources, hence the need to protect them to prevent their extinction.

Nana Duodu II said the site is a priority area for conservation in the country and urged all to bring along a camera to witness the uniqueness of the Centre.

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By Isaac Arkoh, GNA