By Sonia Lavina
A six member gang involved in poaching an endangered olive ridley sea turtle were arrested at the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park (GMMNP) in India reported The Times of India on July 8.
Based on eye witness reports, forest staff from the GMMNP raided the Tuticorin fishing harbor on Sunday and found the group cutting the sea turtle weighing 40kg into pieces.
The gang members were arrested under the Wildlife Protection Act and were sentenced in Tuticorin court, staff said.
Forest staff said the turtle was poached for its meat because there is a superstition among the locals that the meat boosts libido.
Ranger Nagarajan said the two types of endangered turtles most commonly seen in the GMMNP are the olive ridley and green sea turtles.
Fishermen were asked not to kill the turtles that are caught in nets, but instead to set them free.
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a protected area of India consisting of 21 small islands (islets) and adjacent coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar in the Indian Ocean.