Guwahati: A small Asiatic softshell turtle and a red panda were rescued in and handed over for rehabilitation, officials said today.

Two IRBN personnel rescued the softshell turtle (amyda cartilaginea) at Chimpu near here on Sunday and handed it over to Flago for rehabilitation, Itanagar Zoo curator Raya Flago said.

The red panda (ailurus Filgens) was also rescued by a resident of Kebi village in Lower Subansiri district, he said.

The red panda was reportedly injured severely by labourers who were engaged in cultivation at a cardamom garden and could possibly have been killed if the villager did not rescue him in time, Flago said in a release.

It is now under treatment and its health is improving.

This is the first instance that a red panda has been reported from the Lower Subansiri area, he said.

He urged the people to fight for the cause of rich wildlife heritage and appealed to stop hunting and buying wildlife and their parts.

A person who abets, uses, possesses and buys wildlife and their parts have equal punishment as that of actual hunter, Flago said.

“The punishment provisions in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has also been increased significantly and now the imprisonment may extend up to seven years and fine of up to Rs 50 lakh in case of wildlife crime may be imposed,” he added.