Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre (June 2016)?

Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events from 1-30 June 2016.

Now that summer temperatures have arrived in Greece, the busy summer season has begun. Turtles who have recovered their health have been moved into the big outdoor tanks to be observed before they are released back into the sea. Newly arrived turtles are being housed temporarily outdoors in small tanks until tanks in the greenhouse become available for them.

As we are entering the busy summer season, more volunteers will be needed (on both a daily and long-term basis) to take care of the turtles. If you are interested in helping, please contact Pavlo Tsaros at rescue@archelon.gr

Number of turtles currently being treated: 28

Turtle news


Niki’, (a Caretta caretta with a carapace length of 72.0 cm and weight 41 kilos) arrived on 8 June 2016 from Porto Lagos (Xanthi) with an old head injury intentionally caused by human hands. X-rays have shown that the injury is more extensive than it appears, and it’s too early to tell how she will do. We would like to thank Nikos, the driver who brought her to Athens and named her.

Sofia’ (a Caretta caretta whose carapace length is 66.0 cm and who weighs 29 kilos) arrived on 9 June 2016 from Hermione with a superficial head injury. We would like to thank the Flying Dolphin Line for bringing her to Athens, and Sofia, the woman who accompanied her during the trip.

Olivia’ (a loggerhead with a carapace length 66.5 cm and weight 38 kilos) arrived on 9 June 2016 from Karpathos with a superficial head injury. Many thanks to Polybios Papadanil, a local veterinarian and member of the ARION Veterinarian Network, who looked after the turtle and gave her first aid. She was transported to Athens by Aegean Air, which has become a valued partner. We would like to thank them for their excellent collaboration to save this turtle.

Anna’ (a Caretta caretta whose carapace is 68.0 cm and who weighs 36.5 kilos) arrived on 10 June 2016 from Thessaloniki with a severe head injury. She was the second turtle to recently arrive from Thessaloniki with severe head trauma.


Monika’ (a loggerhead whose carapace length is 52.5 cm and who weighs 16 kilos) arrived on 12 June 2016 from Thessaloniki with a severe head injury. ‘Monika’ was the third turtle to recently arrive from Thessaloniki with severe head trauma.

Louna’, (a Caretta caretta with a carapace length of 64.0 cm and weighing 29 kilos) arrived on 15 June 2016 from Chania, Crete with an ingested hook and line as well as a broken plastron. She passed the fishing line through naturally, which confirmed that it was separate from the hook. The hook was surgically removed. She has been recovering quite well.


We are happy to report that a number of turtles who had recovered their health were released in June.


On 2 June 2016, ‘Aquis’ had been found in Corfu with a head injury and arrived at the RC on12 August 2015. He had been found by members of the staff of the local Hotel Aquis, and was looked after by the local veterinarian Dr Spyros Desylas, a member of the ARION Veterinarian Network. ‘Aquis’ was released from the beach, accompanied by students from Stavrakis School, who had adopted a turtle at the Rescue Center

On 3 June 2016, ‘Artemis’, the turtle who had received a lot of publicity after being rescued from an uninhabited island along with a group of refugees, was released on Leros, from where she had come. Many thanks to the local vet Dr Michalis Kontragouris (a member of ARION Veterinarian Network) who took care of the turtle. Aegean Air arranged for her transport to the Rescue Centre. Aegean Air also made it possible for Artemis to be released back on Leros. Two local schools were invited to this event. For videos, see https://www.facebook.com/olympicair/videos/10153493090232237/ and https://vimeo.com/172824848 .

On 10 June 2016, ‘Christina’, who had arrived on 13 July 2015 from Vardas (Eleias) with a head injury and an ingested hook, was released into the Saronic Gulf by boat. Many thanks to the Management Agency of Kotiki Strofilia for rescuing and sending the turtle to the RC. ‘Christina’ was able to be released into the open sea thanks to the Aqua Divers Club.

On 16 June 2016, ‘Kasjpy’, who had arrived on 3 January 2016 with an ingested line, was released. Thanks to everyone involved in rescuing this turtle.

On 20 June 2016, ‘Ioli’, who had arrived on 26 October 2015 with hypothermia, was released. Thanks to everyone involved in rescuing this turtle.

On 29 June 2016, ‘Stephania’, who had arrived on 3 June 2016 from Vougliameni, was released. She had been found offshore by members of a local kayak club. They managed to push her close to shore, where Archelon volunteers went to rescue her. She had a hook in her mouth, will a long piece of line attached, which luckily she hadn’t swallowed. The line was wrapped around her flippers. Fortunately, we were able to remove easily the line around her flippers and retrieve the hook without surgery. For a video of the release, see https://vimeo.com/173000478

Thanks to Polymnia and Yiannis for looking after these turtles (and all the others) during the winter months.


Unfortunately, a number of newly-arrived, seriously injured turtles did not survive.

Florence’, who arrived from Isthmia (Corinth) with a ingested hook.

Barry’, who was found near Fleves island in the Saronic Bay, died from ingested plastic.

Athina’, an adult female loggerhead, was found entangled in fishing line on 27 June 2016 near Isthmia. Her front right flipper was too damaged to be saved, and her back right flipper was also broken. After consulting with our vet and other vets throughout the world, it was decided that it would be best for her to be put down. Many thanks to local vet Maria Belivani (a member of ARION Veterinarian Network) for taking care of the turtle and also for her generous adoption of one of the turtles being treated at the RC.

Other news

Remember that the RC will be closed to the public during the month of August, as usual.

Did you know...

We had recently reported on a turtle which was found in the south of Crete with a hook in its mouth by a diving instructor. The rescuer had had special training, and was able to remove the hook and release the turtle. Two weeks later, the diving instructor saw the same turtle return to the beach to nest!

On 29 June, which coincidentally happened to be Pavlo’s name day, two events took place: ‘Stefania’ was released back into the sea less than a month after she had been found, and a nest was found and protected on Marathon beach here in Attica! It’s unusual to find sea turtles nesting in Attica because most of the beaches have been developed and turtles can’t nest on them. For more info and photos about this exciting event, see https://www.facebook.com/archelon.gr/photos/a.276218571327.144675.276190381327/10154178564681328/?type=3&theater#

We’ll keep you posted once the incubation period is over and the nest is excavated.




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