Since 1996, the Visakha Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) has been hard at work, determined to improve the conditions for animals in India. The VSPCA works to stop the illegal trade in internationally-protected sea turtles, rescues cows and water buffalo too old or injured to be kept by their previous owners, as well as provides permanent happy sanctuary to hundreds of dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, horses, rabbits, tortoises, ducks and other animals who had been suffering severe abuse or neglect.

Turtles are an endangered species and protecting the eggs become an important necessity. However, most people were not aware or unconcerned of the increasing threats to the eggs from predators (eagles, jackals, dogs, hyenas) and humans.

Pradeep Nath (Founder of VSPCA: Vishaka Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) took it on himself to protect the eggs. After several years of struggle and taking requisite permissions from the forest department, Pradeep started the Sea Turtle Protection Force (STPF), a 24 member team of extensively trained local fishermen and volunteers who comb the beaches night and day on patrol, fervently protecting the turtle rookeries from predators, poachers and generally careless beachgoers. The force protects not only the turtle eggs and the hatchlings, but also the mother turtles that come to nest.

Watch the amazing story of endangered Olive Ridley turtles and the efforts by VSPCA team to protect them.

The STPF has now achieved success in ex-situ protection (refers to shifting the eggs to a protected hatchery, where they are safe from predators and careless beach walkers) as compared to the in-situ protection (refers to protecting the turtle eggs without relocating them to another area).

There are increasing challenges too for this project to be 100% successful, dredging, land grabbing is a serious issue, an increasing awareness campaign among local citizens and tourists may help in combating the issue.

Website: www.vspca.org

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