Africa Direct

From poacher to protector: A turtle guard in Ivory Coast

A poacher-turned-protector painstakingly works to conserve threatened sea turtles in Ivory Coast.

It’s nighttime at the Roc Dougbalé beach in Ivory Coast and Hie Amiral Picard is on turtle guard. Like many locals, he used to catch turtles for meat and eggs. But now, he is trying to conserve this endangered species.

He works with a marine conservation organisation to tirelessly record, raise and release baby turtles and try to educate the next generation about their environmental importance.

Ivorian filmmaker Isabelle Christiane Kouraogo has directed five short films, which have screened internationally, and is developing a feature documentary. She works across the industry and is passionate about African cultural identity in universal storytelling.