Two Olive Ridley turtles with damaged flippers were rescued by volunteers of the Sea Turtle Protection Force at Kovalam and Panaiyur beaches early on Wednesday.

Supraja Dharini, Founder, TREE Foundation, said while one turtle had lost its right fore flipper and was stranded on the beach at Kovalam, the other was stranded on the Panaiyur beach with both its fore flippers cut. The left hind flipper was cut ninety per cent. The turtle at the Kovalam beach could have damaged its right front flipper nearly a month ago as it is getting healed, she said. The Sea Turtle Protection Force was formed by the Foundation.

The turtle found in Panaiyur had serious injuries, with the bone was visible. The left hind flipper was hanging loose. “We are seeing such injured turtles often and suspect that it is due to the lack of awareness among fishermen about handling them. They simply maim the turtles caught in their nets. Usually when the turtle gets entangled in a gill net, the fishermen, instead of taking time to cut the net and release it, just chop off the flipper to retrieve their nets. Without a flipper, it becomes difficult for the turtle to swim,” she said.

Veterinary care would be provided to the two turtles and after the injuries heal they would be released into the sea.

Dr. Dharini said those coming across injured turtles may call her on 94440-52242.