ALAPPUZHA: The carcass of a leatherback sea turtle, an endangered reptile listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), washed ashore at Punthala near Thottapally on Friday.
Local residents informed the activists of Green Roots, an NGO working for nature. Saji Jayamohan, a Green Roots activist, said, “Residents are calling it ‘kolama’, weighing more than 200 kg. These turtles are rarely found in the coastal areas of the state. In 1990, a live leatherback turtle was found in Kollam.”
They plan to bury the turtle, he said. The leatherback is one of the biggest turtles in the world.
“At its full growth, it weighs more than 500 kg and can reach a length of 4 to 6 ft,” Saji said. He also said the biggest leatherback turtle found in Europe had a length of 10 feet and weighed about 900 kg. These turtles survives on jellyfish. It has no shell but the skin is like leather, hence the name.