At Vizhinjam, Turtles enjoy Independence

When the whole country celebrates Independence Day on August 15, three badly injured Olive Ridley Turtles that were rescued at Kovalam also enjoyed their independence when they were released into the sea.

The three turtles that were badly injured due to the ghost nets was given treatment and released two nautical miles off Kovalam coast. “It was independence for the three turtles that got trapped in the ghost nets. They were released two nautical miles after they were given treatment,” said Friends of Marine Life founding director Robert Panipilla.

The turtles that got struck in the ghost nets were rescued by the Friends of Marine Life on August 8. “Soon after the turtles were found to be trapped in the nets, we got them out from the waters. We immediately informed the Forest Department. However, they said that they had no expertise in handling or treating the turtles,” he said. Of the four turtles rescued, one was already dead when brought to the shore.  

The Forest Department later handed over the turtles to CMFRI, who had taken care of them. “We received a call from the forest department regarding the turtles. A veterinary doctor was arranged and we took care of the turtle. As they were out of danger, we had decided to release them,” CMFRI officials said.

The three turtles, one male and two females, were given antibiotics and vitamin. They were watched for a week and only then they were set free, the officials said.  

Stating that the decision to release the turtles were taken after they were found to be out of danger, Robert Panipilla said that they were released two nautical miles away as the sea near Kovalam was not safe as the region was full of ghost nets and the possibility of getting trapped again cannot be ignored.

Panipilla, who had went to release the turtles, said that it was a very enjoyable moment to see the turtles splashing away at once they were released. This really shows that they have recovered, he added.

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