Flipper the script: when poachers become turtle guardians


Flipper the script: when poachers become turtle guardians

A look inside the scheme teaching people to protect endangered loggerheads and leatherbacks


Armed with his torch, infrared light, reflective vest, measuring tools and data-capturing equipment, Themba Qwabe prepares for his 12km patrol along the shores of a protected portion of coastline in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

“Tonight is a full moon, the beach will be well lit and these are the kind of conditions poachers love.”

For three seasons Qwabe, not a poacher himself, has been monitoring the coastline of Sodwana Bay in northern KwaZulu-Natal, ensuring that the annual nesting of loggerhead and leatherback turtles goes ahead without any disruptions...

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