Two Olive Ridley turtles rescued across Mumbai

One was found with damaged flippers in Palghar, while another was found in a weakened condition at the southern end in Girgaum, highlighting risk to marine life across the city's coastline

Injured Olive Ridley turtle found at Palghar
Injured Olive Ridley turtle found at Palghar

Two injured Olive Ridley Turtles were rescued from opposite ends of the city yesterday, highlighting how marine creatures are still at risk from fishing nets across the coastline.

One of the turtles was discovered at Palghar with both its flippers damaged, most likely after it got entangled in fishing nets. It was first spotted in the injured state four days ago by a local fisherman. He sheltered the turtle for a few days and then tried releasing it into the water yesterday. But when the reptile failed to swim away, he called another local resident, Bhushan Bhoir, for help.

"I immediately rushed to the spot. Prima facie, it appears that the flippers might have got damaged by a fishing net," said Bhoir, who called the territorial wing of the Thane Forest Department.

Also read: Watch baby Olive Ridley turtles take their first steps into the Arabian Sea

"As the turtle is injured, it has been sent to the turtle rescue and rehabilitation centre in Dahanu, where Dr Dinesh Vinherkar will monitor its condition," said a Forest official.

The same day, rescue workers found another Olive Ridley turtle at Girgaum. It was taken to the animal hospital in Parel after its condition was found to be weak.

These are hardly the first such incidents of injured or dead marine creatures washing ashore in the city; in the past, turtles, dolphins and whales have been similarly found with injuries from boat propellers and fishing nets.

Also read - Mumbai: Rare Olive Ridley turtle washes ashore at Juhu

The wildlife community is of the opinion that awareness campaigns should be held to educate local fishermen about the rich marine biodiversity to be found in the city's coastline, and what they can do to conserve it.

Also read: Villagers protect Olive Ridley sea turtles in Odisha

Pawan Sharma, from the NGO RAWW, said, "There are many fishermen who know how to remove and release creatures that get caught in their nets, but there are many others who need to be made aware about the importance of these creatures and how to save them."

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