For the first time in Games History, there will be a live representative of the Official Games Mascot – Solo the Leatherback Turtle!
Recently a team from the Games Organising Committee (GOC) traveled to Haevo Khulano Integrated Conservation Centre, to witness the satellite tagging of leatherback turtles, with Solo-the Games Mascot.
Valerie Hilly, Project Officer of GOC explained that; “the satellite tagging of a leatherback turtle called Solo is part of the partnership with The Nature Conservancy Solomon Islands (TNCSI) and the GOC to advocate for the conservation of turtles in the Pacific.
At 4:00am, before dawn, the team trudged through rich black sand for 2 kilometers to the nesting grounds, with the Haevo Khulano rangers, to witness Solo the leatherback turtle – which was167 centimeters in length, climb up the beach to lay her eggs.
Solo the Games Mascot eagerly greeted its namesake and witnessed its tagging and had a sendoff with well wishes for safe travels from now until Games time, 2023.
“It was amazing to see the enthusiasm of these Rangers protecting the leatherback nesting population at Haevo nesting ground. We believe we too can do the same by protecting our endangered species whether it be Hawksbill, Green or leatherback turtles”, expressed team leader, Valerie Hilly.
The successful tagging of Solo now enables GOC to pinpoint where it is in the Pacific Ocean and even beyond and advocate on behalf of TNCSI the conservation of turtles. Updates of the route Solo takes will be made on the Games official Website.