Recently Goan shores have seen a rise in the number of injured sea turtles. We are fortunate that our locals immediately come to the rescue of these endangered species saving them from poachers or sure death.
The most recent case of an injured turtle occurred on Sunday afternoon at Tembwada beach – a protected turtle nesting site – where locals chanced upon an injured sea turtle. This is the second instance this year. Recently in July a sea turtle was stranded on the Morjim beach. The locals came to its rescue while it was being attacked by stray dogs.
Considering the urgency of the situation, villagers feel that wildlife officials should respond promptly. During the monsoon, the employees of the turtle nesting protection site move their office from Morjim to Panjim. This causes a delay in addressing the situation and locals are forced to take action with no help from the authorities.
Sources informed that it was only late in the evening that the wildlife officials came looking for it and expressed their displeasure over the hold-up caused by the wildlife department in attending to the injured turtle.
Morjim (from Vitthaldas to Tembwada) is a nesting site for Olive Ridley sea turtles. The nesting season is usually from October to May, which coincides with the peak tourist season. Apart from Morjim , Mandrem in North Goa, Galgibag and Agonda in South Goa are the four main nesting sites of the Olive Ridley turtles in the state.
The Good news is, with the monitoring and nest protection started in 1997, the Forest Department has protected 139 nests and released the hatchlings safely to the sea. We should be proud that these beautiful sea creatures have chosen our shores for nesting. If we don’t take heed, we may loose them forever.
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