Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events in November and December 2013.
So far, the weather has been holding up, which helps everyone at the RC do their work and also have more releases, but... when the temperatures remain warm late during the autumn, the turtles seem to stay in Greek waters, increasing their chances of being injured.
In addition to the usual work done at the RC, it has been the subject of a documentary being made about the Rescue Centre and its volunteers by a group of ARCHELON friends from Greenpeace. The goal is to raise awareness of the work done at the RC, particularly during the difficult winter months, and to raise support for these efforts. To find out more, please visit www.videos4volunteers.org and sign up to learn more about the project and follow its progress.
First, the good news. A number of the turtles have recovered from their injuries and have been released. ʽMayaʼ, who had arrived at the RC on 28 July from Aitoliko with a right flipper injury, was released on 8 November, together with ʽChloeʼ, who had arrived on 30 July from Trikeri, Pagasitikou with an ingested hook (which fortunately was removed without surgery). On November 19, two more turtles were released: ʽAgniʼ, who had arrived on 15 August from Pilio with a head injury, and ʽRodanthiʼ, the tiny turtle with an injured flipper who had been found floating inside a plastic bag near Hydra. Many thanks to everyone involved in arranging for and providing the boats used in these releases. ʽArtemisʼ, who had arrived on 29 September from Kephalonia with two ingested hooks (one was removed surgically and the other passed through her body naturally) was released at Legrena beach on 30th November.
At the time of this writing, five more turtles were still in the outdoor tanks and scheduled for release in the near future, if all continues to go well: Neiraida, Manny, Doblado, Clio, Titos. Details will be available in the next report, and/or on the ARCHELON Rescue Centre Facebook page.
There were also some new arrivals: ʽJuliaʼ, arrived on 12 November from Corfu with a severe head injury, and ʽStephaniaʼ, who arrived on 29 November 2013 from Farou Beach, Chalkida. X-rays showed that ʽStephaniaʼ had ingested a long line with ten hooks, a traditional type of fishing technique used by local fisherman in areas close to the coast.
Unfortunately, two turtles died as a result of their injuries. ʽThanasisʼ, who arrived on 26 November from Volos with a head injury and hook ingestion, died shortly after his arrival, and we are sad to report that ʽElpidaʼ, the turtle previously reported on who had been successfully treated and released several years ago, died as a result of the long line and hooks (similar to the kind ingested by ʽStephaniaʼ) she had ingested.
This year ARCHELON celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special event attended by friends and family. (for details, see the article here http://www.archelon.gr/eng/ourdeltia.php?row=row10&nid=628). To my surprise and great delight, I was one of the people presented with an award for my work on behalf of ARCHELON! Many thanks to the Board and everyone at ARCHELON – being a volunteer and working towards achieving the organizationʼs goals are an honor and reward in themselves.
Did you know...
The drop in temperature which will occur during the winter months will affect the turtles during their rehabilitation, meaning that the turtleʼs tanks will need to be heated. (They would normally migrate to warmer waters to escape the cold.) A small contribution of ?30 will buy a heater for one of the tanks.) Also, any donations of fresh or frozen seafood for the turtles would be greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the RC.