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Residents of an east Indian village have claimed that a Hindu deity has visited them in the form a turtle.
Visitors have flocked to the temple in the coastal district of Kendrapara, eastern Orissa bearing rice and fruit and the villagers have refused to hand over the creature to authorities, Reuters reports.
Senior government wildlife official P.K. Behera said: "We have asked the villagers to hand it over as it is illegal to confine a turtle, but they are refusing." Priest of the temple Ramesh Mishra explained: "Lord Jagannath has visited our village in the form of a turtle. We will not allow anybody to take the turtle away." According to Indian law, anyone found keeping a turtle without permission can be fined and jailed for a year or more.