WWF’s Tingo Leve expertly drove the boat with our Tetepare Rangers showing us the different points of interest around the island from leatherback, green & hawksbill nesting areas to rivers where crocodiles hide
The TDA has permanently closed a 13km stretch of Tetepare’s reefs, lagoons and coastal waters and established an MPA. They called it the Tetepare Marine Protected Area. This no-take zone includes the land from the low water mark to 500m inland. Dolphins, dugongs and crocodiles are known to roam different parts of this island’s rich waters while land reptiles like snakes and monitor lizards, birds, bats and of course, wild boar inhabit the land’s thick forest area.
While we were there, six young teenagers paddled their dugout canoe in the wild waters of Tetepare. They came from the neighbouring Rendova Island and went beyond the no take zone to go camping and hunting for wild boar. They had four dogs to help them hunt in the forest. After three days, and three wild boars later, they paddled their way back home. It was a long way back and the waves were big and the winds merciless. Their canoe flipped over and they lost two pigs and a dog which swam to shore. They were met by the rangers and still in good spirits amidst their near death experience, they gave the rangers some wild boar meat which we got to eat for dinner!