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an old Turtle known as Mazari from Bayejid Bostami's mazar in Chittagong.... details info for this type is given below:


The Black Soft-shelled Turtle or Bostami Turtle (Aspideretes Nigricans, sometimes placed in genus Nilssonia) is a species of freshwater turtle found in India (Assam) and Bangladesh (Chittagong). It was for long believed to be inbred individuals of the Ganges Soft-shelled Turtle (A. gangeticus or N. gangeticus) or the Peacock Soft-shelled Turtle (A. hurum or N. hurum), but while it is a close relative of the latter it is a good and distinct species.


Originally native to the lower Brahmaputra River, the only population ever reliably known consists of 150-300 turtles in a manmade pond which is part of the Hazrat Sultan Bayazid Bastami (also transliterated "Bostami" or "Bustami") shrine at Chittagong, where they are dependent on humans for survival. To the locals and worshippers, the Black Soft-shelled Turtle is known as mazari. Specimens from this shrine were used in the first scientific description


The shrine's caretakers – the Mazar Committee – protect the turtle population, but will not allow specimens to be taken anymore, regardless of whether they would be killed or used for reintroduction into the wild. This is due to the animals being considered the descendants of sinners who were miraculously turned into turtles by a saint during the 13th century. Scientific study of the shrine's turtle population can be arranged for, however, providing the animals are not harmed.


As of 2002, the IUCN classified the species as Extinct in the Wild. However, it was recently found that in Assam at least one wild population still exists, inhabiting the Jia Bhoroli river which is a northern tributary of the Brahmaputra. Also, a population of these turtles was identified in the Kachapukhuri pond on Nilachal Hill, next to the Kamakhya Temple temple at Guwahati in Assam.


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Taken on July 16, 2009