Joanne whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events between 18th – 31st May 2013.
ʽEvi,ʼ who had been treated for a light head injury at the RC since her arrival on 4 November 2012 from Aigio, was released on 23 May, the International Day of the Turtle, from the beach at Legrena. She had been found by a young boy, Loukas, and his dad. The weather was a bit windy and there were quite a few waves, but ʽEviʼ quickly dove under the waves and she was far out to sea when we saw her surface later for a breath of air before diving again. She was accompanied by all our best wishes for a long and safe life.
ʽEviʼ was the first release this year, and will hopefully soon be followed by others. The happy event was shared by a large group of well-wishers, including the RC staff and volunteers, students from the University of Indianapolis (who are studying in Greece and were working as volunteers at the RC for the last two weeks), and several students and their families from the American Community School and St. Catherineʼs school. (If you are interested in going to a beach release, call the RC and ask for information about any releases which may be scheduled. Release dates depend on a variety of factors, so itʼs not possible to have a fixed schedule much in advance.)
ʽDoraʼ is a small Caretta caretta who arrived from Corfu on 2nd May. She had ingested a hook and line, and was very weak when found. She is slightly better, so an operation will be performed to remove the hook. Hopefully, this will free the line and she will pass it through. Otherwise, she will most likely die soon from the damage caused by the line.
'Lazarosʼ and ʽIonasʼ are recovering quickly, and should be released soon.
ʽKiaraʼ and ʽGiorgosʼ, who are in the big outdoor tanks, both have been enjoying basking in the afternoon sun. They float on the surface of the water so that the sun hits their carapaces. ʽKiaraʼ likes to keep her head under the outlet where circulating water comes into a tank, thus getting a sort of massage at the same time. The concern is that they are not diving as much as expected – they do dive to the bottom to feed – and will require more therapy.
ʽPiuʼ, the small turtle missing a flipper who had been found in Pireaus harbor last year, is doing well and noticeably growing! He has been diving more and more, which increases his chances of being released this year.
ʽLoukiaʼ and ʽPenelopeʼ are now eating by themselves, which is always a positive sign. ʽLoukiaʼ is also spending more time underwater, which is also encouraging sign, and indicates she will soon be ready for transfer to a big tank for observation (and eventual release this year).
Unfortunately, several turtles died recently. One of our turtles who had been released last year, ʽFotiniʼ was found dead in the Glyfada area. When originally found, the turtle had no visible injuries and was believed to have been suffering from hypothermia. She recovered her strength during her stay at the RC and could dive and feed normally. Based on external observations of the turtle, it appears that she had been dead for some time. ʽTheodoros,ʼ who arrived on 23 March from Lefkada with a head injury, died on 22 May. A necropsy revealed that he also had internal injuries. ʽGlykeriaʼ who had arrived on 13 May from Preveza with a very severe head injury, died on 19 May. A necropsy revealed that there was sand in her esophagus, indicating that she may have been caught on a line. She also had major internal bleeding. ʽNikoletta,ʼ who arrived at the RC from Aegina on 17th May with slight carapace injuries, died the next day. The cause of her death remains unknown.
On Sunday, 26 May, an event was held at the RC to celebrate the International Day of the Turtle. About 500 people attended the event, which featured educational games and crafts activities for children, and a special puppet show which was written, produced, and performed by a group of students from the Environmental Team of the 1st Gymnasio in Ano Liosia, Athens, and, of course, guided tours of the RC and information about the turtles. (You can see photos of the event on the ARCHELON Facebook page).
The event wouldnʼt have been possible without the volunteers who came from all walks of life to help at the event. Special thanks to Dimitri, Andreas, the two Doras, Bill, Makrina and her mom, Sotiris, Rita, Lenio, Niki, Gianina, the students from the IEK Korydallo (Maria T., Basiliki K., Garifalia T, and Evangelia T.), members of the ACS Turtle Club and Young Volunteers and their teachers Irene and Irini and Jane, the students, teachers and parents of the 1st Gymnasio in Ano Liosia, and of course the RC full-time volunteers Maria, Catherine, Mathieu, Djamal, Carine, day volunteers Eleana, Jane and Petros as well as all the ARCHELON people involved in the event (Georgia, Theodoros, Pavlo, Nasos, Elly). (If I've accidentally forgotten to mention someone – sorry! Please let me know and I'll correct it in the next report.)
Thanks, too, to everyone who attended and supported the event! It was a wonderful, happy day for everyone. I hope to see everyone again at next yearʼs event!
Last but not least, the RC was featured on a Greek morning TV program (including an interview with RC Co-ordinator Pavlo Tsaros). Hereʼs the link for the program (our spot starts at about the 36.35 minute mark). Even if you donʼt speak Greek, you might enjoy watching the segment.
Did you know...
When a turtle arrives with a severe head injury, it usually stops eating and requires tube feeding, at least for a while. Also, it will stay on the surface and will need a lot of time to be able to dive again.