CHENNAI: Pallavi, a rescued Olive Ridley turtle with a missing flipper, got a new lease of life after conservationists released her 3 km offshore from Periya Neelankarai fishing village into the sea.
Supraja Dharini, chairperson, TREE Foundation said Pallavi was released near a rock formation, where a wide variety of prey fish are always found, in order to make it easy for her to feed.
The female turtle had washed ashore on the Mahabalipuram shore with her left front flipper missing, perhaps due to an entanglement with a fishing net.
The turtle was brought to TREE Foundations Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Neelankarai and later taken to Tamil Nadu Veterinary College, Vepery for a thorough examination. She was named Pallavi (as she was found along the beach of the ancient Pallava Dynasty).
The team, guided by Dr Jean Beasley, Topsail Turtle Rescue And Rehabilitation Centre, North Carolina and headed on site by Supraja Dharini, facilitated the entire recovery over weeks. Pallavi was fed with a variety of fresh seafood offered by the fishing community volunteers, said Supraja. She was also nurtured by volunteers from WCC (Women’s Christian College), Roots & Shoots and Sea Turtle Protection Force members. The turtle that weighed 20.5 kg when it beached, gained 3.1 kg body weight. Its shell was 65 cm long and 64.2 cm wide, said Supraja.
Pallavi was released in the presence of Lakshmi Narayan, Chief Wildlife Warden, Chennai, S Tyagi, Deputy Inspector General-Indian Coast Guard (East) and other officials.