Double release and triple joy, this time together with our Life Euroturtles partners!
Two rescued female loggerhead sea turtles returned to their natural habitat, the sea, after a stay of about 10 months in ARCHELON’s Sea Turtle Rescue Centre. The event took place on Thursday 26/9/2019 and marks the happy outcome of a lengthy rescue effort in both cases. “Aphrodite” was found with a deliberate head injury in Ermioni, in November last year and was directly transported to the Rescue Centre. “Katerina” was found with a deliberate head injury in Halkidiki, also in November last year. This turtle was given first aid by Prof. A. Komninou at the Veterinary School of Thessaloniki University and consequently was transported to the Rescue Centre for treatment.
So, double release, but triple joy as the whole Life- Euroturtles team attended this event. ARCHELON was hosting the annual meeting of the project and partners from Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Malta were in Glyfada during most of last week. The Life- Euroturtles project aims to improve connections and synergism on key conservation aspects among 6 EU countries, which are amongst the most important countries for the conservation of sea turtles in the Mediterranean. All participants were looking forward to the event of the rescued turtles release.
“We find it extremely useful to meet and exchange on the implementation of our commonly agreed activities” says Drasco Holcer, the Euroturtles Coordinator from the Croatian Natural History Museum. “Many loggerheads nest in Greece but feed and spend a lot of time in the Adriatic Sea and other parts of the Mediterranean, together with us and our fishermen. The threats of the sea turtles at sea are common in all countries” he added. Representatives of the European Commission, more specifically from EASME, who are supervising Life projects, also joined the meeting in Glyfada.
“We are happy that the Rescue Centre’s treatment facilities which were acquired in the framework of the Life Euroturtles, have already helped many injured animals” says Dimitris Fytilis, marine scientist MSc, who is the Rescue Centre Coordinator.
It is also a fact that with the latest improvements at the Rescue Centre, ARCHELON’s staff and volunteers have been able to put up with the increased number of arrivals of sea turtles deliberately injured in the head. “These cases take a long time to reach rehabilitation. Last winter, until the recent extensions, there was no space available at the Centre to admit new cases” says Eirini Kassimati, biologist MSc, who is ARCHELON’s rescue/rehabilitation officer.
All of the above having been said, our last thought is with the two rescued sea turtles who start a new journey and the tens of volunteers who took care of them during their stay! Good luck to all of you, as well as to our Life Euroturtles partners!