KULASEKARAN PATTINAM WHALES AND CHAKRATHIRTHA TURTLES: KAVIGNAR THANIGAI’S679TH POST
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UPDATE 3:16 pm IST: 45 small fin whales that had washed up on the beaches of Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district have died, reports said.
Nearly 100 whales and dolphins had washed ashore on the shores of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. 36 had been rescued by locals and officials, NDTV reported.
More than 50 dolphins and fin whales were found washed ashore in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district, also known as Tuticorin, on Tuesday.
Local fishermen found stranded dolphins on at least two beaches on Monday night, The NewsMinute reported. At least a couple of the fishes died, according to the report.
Earlier, a few fishermen near the Kulasekarapattinam beach had put some of the stranded whales back into the sea.
“These are small fin whales. They appear disoriented. It is the first time so many have been beached,” Tuticorin district official Ravi Kumar told NDTV.
“We have asked senior officials from the Gulf of Mannar marine park and the forest department to investigate,” he said.
It was a horrific site in Puri as carcasses of hundreds of Olive Ridley turtles were washed ashore on Wednesday. The news has set off alarm bells among conservationists, more so because they fall under the endangered category.
Thousands of marine turtles swim towards the Odisha coast for nesting every winter. Illegal trawlers and fishing nets, however, act as a death trap for them in the seas despite a ban on fishing along the coast. Winter is also the time when they mate in high seas.
The beach from near Hotel Mayfair towards Chakratirtha Road was littered with bodies of the dead marine turtles. The Puri-Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary put the number at a staggering 1,200 bodies over the last three days. The carcass of a three-foot long sub-adult bottlenose dolphin also drifted ashore.
Talking about the incident, the Divisional Forest Officer Chitta Ranjan Mishra said, “Given the condition of the carcasses, the turtles are believed to have died in the sea and were washed ashore by the southerly wind which has been blowing for the last two days.”
Famous sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sand sculpture of turtles protesting their death with a message “Give us space to live” at Puri beach.