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

Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events in December 2016.

Winter has arrived, without a doubt!

At the beginning of the month, the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny, giving the turtles a chance to enjoy the large, outdoor tanks before their release back into the sea. By the end of the month, things quickly changed, and it even snowed in Athens – a rare event! Needless to say, all of the turtles still being treated are safe and warm in the Intensive Care Unit (also known as ‘the greenhouse’), while our dedicated volunteers are braving the weather conditions to care for the turtles.

We also had some wonderful ‘happenings’ at the RC this month, which will be reported on below.

 

Volunteer news

It’s always difficult to be in a strange place, far from your family and friends during the holidays, and we would like to thank our volunteers from abroad (Lena, Johanna, Gabrielle and Bobby) who were here over the holidays. Thanks also to our local volunteer Phil, for inviting the volunteers to a Christmas Eve dinner at his home.

Turtle news

Arrivals

Three injured turtles arrived at the RC for treatment in December.

Angeliki’, a loggerhead whose carapace measures 60.5 cm and who weighs 23 kilos, arrived from Lefkada on 7 December 2016 with a human-inflicted head injury.

Elefteria’ arrived at the RC on 14 December 2016 from Salamina suffering from hypothermia. Unfortunately, this large loggerhead (with a carapace length of 75.5 cm and weighing 50 kilos), died on 24 December 2016.

Dion’, a loggerhead whose carapace measured 58.5 cm and who weighs 17 kilos, arrived from Rethymno on 18 December 2016. The turtle has a head injury which was deliberately inflicted by human hands.

We would like to thank everyone involved in helping to rescue these injured turtles.

 

Releases

Fortunately, because of the favorable weather conditions early in the month, three rehabilitated turtles were released back into the sea.

Eos’ arrived at the RC from Naufpakto on 22 September 2016. The turtle was successfully treated and released on 2 December 2016 from Katafygi beach, Attica.

Lyda’, who had been sent to the RC from Naxos on 29 September 2016 with an ingested line and head and neck injuries, was successfully treated and released into the Saronic Gulf. ‘Lyda’, who had been rescued by the Society for the Protection of Wildlife in Naxos was scheduled to be released from Naxos in collaboration with the same group. However, due to strike involving ferry boat crews, she was released in Attica. Many thanks to the Society for the Protection of Wildlife in Naxos for rescuing this turtle and for collaborating on her release. For a photo and more information, see https://www.facebook.com/ProstasiaAgriasZoesNaxou/photos/a.401074840002299.1073741828.401066216669828/1040718832704560/?type=3&theater

Apollo’, a loggerhead with a flipper injury, arrived from Samos on 1 June 2015. He was successfully treated and released on 8 December 2016 from Katafygi beach, Attica.

Special news

On 17 December 2016, the world famous primatologist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace Dr Jane Goodall visited the RC. During her visit, she toured the Centre and was interested in how the turtles were injured, how they were rescued and treated, and how they were released back into the sea once they had recovered their health. As part of her visit, a choir of school children performed songs especially written for the occasion. You can watch a short video of her visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJaeeXPFqxU&feature=youtube.

There is also an article about her visit (unfortunately only available in Greek at this time, but you can enjoy the pictures) on the ARCHELON website here http://www.archelon.gr/contents/ourdeltia.php?row=row10&nid=884. I would like to translate two lines from the article, which I think is something all of us should remember. One of the students said to Dr. Goodall, ‘I wish there were more people in the world like you’, to which she replied, ‘But every one of you can be a person like me.’

Dr Goodall was in Greece for several days, during which time she gave presentations at two local venues, the American Community Schools of Athens and the Athens Megaron. A video of her talk at ACS is available on their site http://www.acs.gr/daily-blog/2016/12/8/dr-jane-goodall-presenting-at-acs-athens-dec-16-2016.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

On 23 December, the annual ARCHELON Christmas party was held at the RC. I think I can speak for everyone and say ‘a good time was had by all’. For pictures of the party, see https://www.facebook.com/archelon.gr/photos/pcb.10154683483581328/10154683425926328/?type=3&theater

 

Did you know...

Dr Goodall has founded and implemented an educational program around the world for children, called Roots and Shoots. To learn more about this program, see http://www.rootsandshoots.org/ or http://www.janegoodall.org/

 

Joanne Stournara

 

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