Meet The Guardian Angel Of Olive Ridley Turtles In Odisha

The sight of a man in a turtle’s costume along Odisha’s coast is not uncommon. If you have also come across him, here is an introduction. His name is Soumya Ranjan Biswal, a B.Tech dropout and he is on a mission to created awareness about the need to save the endangered Olive Ridley turtles.

He is joined by Dilip Kumar Biswal, a junior in his college. They take turns to turn into a cheerful turtle who even talks to the fishermen!

What is more, the duo even stand guard day and night during the nesting season to save the eggs from predators. The idea is to ensure that the hatchlings make it back to the sea and for this, they have organised 156 beach cleaning events since 2015. Just for knowledge, about half the world’s population of Olive Ridleys comes to the Odisha coast for nesting.

October to early summer us the nesting season in three key nesting zones. Sadly, the survival ratio of Olive Ridleys is very low. Only one out of every 1,000 eggs survives.

“My village is near the sea and Olive Ridleys come ashore to nest. We started seeing a lot of dead turtles washed ashore. It wasn’t just plastic pollution but also fishing trawlers. There is a lot of focus on the tiger but no one was paying attention to the marine ecosystem,” said Soumya to Livemint.

Soumya and Dilip are also in the Limca Book of Records for their 800-km bike awareness campaign in Odisha last year. This year, they covered more than 1,200km. Over the years, increased fishing, illegal use of trawlers and changes to beaches has increased the challenges. “The next generation needs to take responsibility and promote conservation,” added Soumya.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.