Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre (September 2015)?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events from 1-30 September 2015.
As is usual at this time of year, with the end of the nesting and hatching season and also less people out on the beaches or on the sea, the number of injured turtles arriving at the RC decreases. Unfortunately, however, five new injured turtles arrived this month.
‘Rike’, an adult Caretta caretta, arrived from Zakynthos on 4 September 2015 with a head injury. Unfortunately, she died shortly after her arrival, probably due to the severity of her injury.
‘Raphaella’, a Caretta caretta (carapace length 77.5 cm, weight 54.5 kg), arrived on 11 September 2015 from Mykonos with a slight head injury and an ingested hook.
‘Jo’, a Caretta caretta (carapace length 59.5 cm, weight 26 kilos), arrived on 18 September 2015 from Zakynthos. She had no visible injuries, but X-rays revealed that her stomach was filled with shells. The reason for this blockage is unknown at the moment, and she is receiving medication to hopefully improve this condition.
‘Liam’, a Caretta caretta (carapace length 35.5 cm, weight 5 kilos), arrived on 19 September 2015 from Evia. The turtle had a flipper injury from entanglement with a fishing line and also an ingested hook, which will be surgically removed shortly. ‘Liam’ arrived together with a second, small turtle named ‘Baby’ (carapace length 28 cm, weight 2.5 kg), who was entangled in the same fishing line. Fortunately, ‘Baby’ had no injuries and was released.
‘Damon’, a Caretta caretta (carapace length 63.0 cm, weight 25 kilos), who had arrived on 29 August 2015 from Skopelos with a head injury, died on 27 September 2015 as a result of his injury.
Besides the turtle ‘Baby’ mentioned above, two other turtles were released in September.
‘Angelos’, a green turtle who had arrived on 14 June 2014 from Sagiada with a head injury, was released on 27 September 2015 by boat into the Saronic Bay. On that day, an underwater dance performance called ‘Drops of Breath’, was organized in collaboration with Aqua Divers Club. After the performance, one of the dancers proposed to another! The new couple were chosen to release ‘Angelos’ into the Saronic Bay, close to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.
‘Zina’, a Caretta caretta (carapace 68.0 kg, weight 29 kg), who had arrived on 23 June 2015 from Skopelos with a head injury, was successfully released on a quiet beach near Thymari, Attica on 30
Last month we reported on the arrival of ‘Persa’ (Caretta caretta; carapace 64.5cm long, weight 22.5 kilos) who had arrived from Amfiloxia on 22 August 2015 with a severe head injury. The injury was so severe that the turtle suffered neurological damage, causing her head to be tilted to the left. At the RC, in cases like this, the damage may sometimes heal, but it will very likely take a long time to happen. This is the first time I have seen an injury of this type, and it is truly tragic.
And now for some good news: Before being released back into the sea, turtles are moved to the large, outdoor tanks for observation for several weeks. Their eating and diving behavior is carefully monitored to ensure that they are ready. Because two of the big outdoor tanks are damaged and cannot be used, it was necessary for two small turtles (‘Claudia’ and ‘Ilias’) to be put together in one big tank. Usually a turtle does not like to be in a tank with another turtle, but this time, fortunately, they were able to share the tank peacefully.
World Dream Day: “Transforming the World One Dream at a time.
Held within each dream is hope for the future. Held within each dreamer is [a] wealth of potential.
World Dream Day seeks to unleash human potential and by doing so transform the world.”
To celebrate World Dream Day, RC Co-ordinator Pavlos Tsaros decided to organize an event about dreams, directed to both adults and children, on 26 September 2015. Visitors were taken on a tour of the rescue center and were informed about threats faced by sea turtles. Afterwards, each was given a piece of paper with a dream bubble on it, and they were asked to answer the question ‘What do turtles dream about?’ by drawing a picture in the dream bubble. Photos of the drawing will be posted on the official ARCHELON Facebook page. Please LIKE our Facebook page and follow us for future events. Many thanks to all the Greek volunteers who came to help out that day.
The International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) has been collaborating with the RC through Aqua Divers Club for three years, combining diving instruction with volunteering at the RC. These high school students have always been really motivated, going as far as fund-raising back home for the RC. For three days this September, they came every morning to work with RC volunteers, doing both maintenance jobs and caring for the turtles. Among other things, they renovated the front part of Pavlos’ office and fixed the toolshed door. We would like to especially thank our volunteer John for supervising all the maintenance work. Many thanks to all the students and teachers for the huge amount of work they achieved in three days.
Did you know...
At the end of the summer, the RC starts to prepare for the coming winter season. So far, the weather is good enough so that the outdoor tanks can still be used and rehabilitated turtles can safely be released back into the sea. Sea turtles cannot be kept outdoors in tanks when the cold weather hits, and must be moved indoors, where there are a limited number of tanks. During the coldest part of the winter, aquarium electric heaters are used to keep the water in the indoor tanks at the proper temperature. Each heater costs around 30 euros. If you would like to contribute for those heaters, contact Pavlo Tsaros, the RC Co-ordinator.
Please LIKE the official ARCHELON Facebook page “ΑΡΧΕΛΩΝ (the official page of) the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece» and follow us for future events.