Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events between 16 August-19 September 2014.
Things are still very busy at the Rescue Centre, with 39 turtles currently being treated. (With the exception of one green turtle, all the turtles are loggerheads of various sizes.) Each new arrival is examined and given first aid and other basic treatment to stabilize them, taken for X-rays to see if they have any ingested hooks or other internal injuries, and examined by our veterinarian, who will prescribe a course of treatment and/or surgery, if required. All the volunteers (both the EVS and other volunteers from abroad, together with our permanent local day volunteers) are working hard to take care of the turtles (and theyʼre doing a fantastic job, I might add!)
Quite a few injured turtles arrived at the RC between mid-August and September, keeping the number of turtles being treated high:
ʽRafaelʼ, a male loggerhead with a carapace length of 73.5 cm and weighing 42.5 kg, arrived at the RC on 18 August 2014 from Lakonia. He was named after the beach (Archangelo) where he was found. He has head and carapace injuries, possibly accidentally caused. Fortunately, his injuries are not too severe, and we hope that he will recover and be released soon.
ʽGeorgiaʼ, a loggerhead whose carapace measures 74 cm, arrived at the RC from Thessaloniki on 25 August with a head injury.
ʽCeciliaʼ, a loggerhead whose carapace measures 39 cm, arrived at the RC from Kalamata on 27 August with a flipper injury.
ʽIsabellaʼ, a loggerhead which arrived from Lefkada on 29 August, has old head and carapace injuries. She weighs 31kg and unfortunately is unable to dive.
When ʽNikiʼ, a loggerhead from Skopelos, arrived, she had fishing line coming from her mouth and an ingested hook. She has had surgery to remove the hook and is recovering well.
ʽMariaʼ arrived from Mylos on 1 September with an ingested hook. She has had surgery and is recovering well.
ʽHermioneʼ arrived on 3 September from Chalkida with a head injury.
ʽKirkiʼ arrived on 6 September from Kefalonia with two ingested hooks located low in her intestine.
ʽRoussaʼ arrived on 4 September from Zakynthos. The loggerhead, which has no visible injuries, was found floating on the surface and covered with algae. She will be examined and X-rayed.
ʽDinaʼ arrived on 8 September from Volos. She has an ingested hook located very low in her intestine (see the photo of her X-ray), which is most likely attached to a piece of line. (Lines do not show up on X-rays).
Fortunately, a lot of turtles recovered from their injuries and were released:
ʽAnaʼ, who had arrived on 8 June from Koroni with a head injury, was released on 15 August 2014.
ʽKalimeraʼ, found by local bathers in Glyfada at a beach right next to the RC on 22 April, was released on 18 August 2014. The turtle had been suffering from anemia, and was very weak and heavily covered with algae and infested by parasites when she was found.
ʽLolaʼ was released from Kyparissa, in cooperation with the Development Agency of Costa Navarino. (See separate article for details: http://www.archelon.gr/eng/ourdeltia.php?row=row10&nid=687)
ʽMargaritaʼ, who had arrived at the RC from Salamina on 29 April 2014, was released by boat on 25 August.
ʽStephaniaʼ, who had arrived at the RC from Chalkida on 29 November 2013, was released from the beach on 26 August.
ʽSpirosʼ, who had arrived at the RC from Amvrakikos on 29 July 2014, was released on 28 August. The turtle had been found and rescued by members of the ARCHELON research team working in the Bay.
ʽZoeʼ, who had arrived on 22 May from Kyparissi with head and flipper injuries, was released on 15 September.
ʽMartinosʼ , who had arrived at the RC from Amvrakikos on 5 August with a carapace injury, was released on 12 September. The turtle had been found and rescued by members of the ARCHELON research team working in the Bay.
ʽSarahʼ, one of the nesting turtles from Kyparissia who had flipper injuries after being bitten by predators while trying to nest on the beach, was released on 10 September. She had been found and rescued on 15 July by members of the ARCHELON Kyparissia field project.
ʽKostasʼ, who had been found with a head injury and rescued by ARCHELON volunteers on the 21st of May in the bay of Kyparissia, was released from the National Marine Park of Zakynthos on 16 September (http://www.archelon.gr/eng/ournews.php?row=row10&nid=691)
Unfortunately, several turtles died as a result of their injuries:
ʽNepheliʼ, who had arrived on 28 August from Preveza with a head injury, died a few weeks later.
ʽRobertaʼ, who had arrived from Amvrakikos on 27 August with a growth on her neck and behind the tail, died several days later. A biopsy of a sample from the growth is being processed.
ʽMarinosʼ, who had arrived at the RC on 17 July with a head injury, died a month later.
ʽGleeʼ, a loggerhead with a head injury who had arrived on 21 May from Thessaloniki, died 15 September.
ʽPetraʼ, the turtle who had recently arrived at the RC in a very weak condition, unfortunately did not survive. A necropsy revealed that she had an ingested hook and 3 metres of line in her intestines. The fatal damage was caused by the line rather than the hook, which had already started to rust away and would have passed relatively harmlessly through her system. Another factor which made her situation even more difficult was the fact that the injury had occurred quite some time before she was found, rescued and transported to the RC for treatment.
Did you know...
One of the most dangerous ʽinjuriesʼ a turtle can sustain is ingested fishing line, which is always serious and can even be life-threatening, sometimes even more so than an ingested hook. It is possible for a short length of line to pass through a turtleʼs system with relatively little damage, especially with the help of natural oils which turtles with ingested line are given as part of their treatment. However, long lengths of ingested line are almost always fatal, as in the case described above for ʽPetraʼ.
So, please spread the word to any fisherman you may know: If they happen to become involved with a turtle with an ingested hook, they should cut the line as short as possible to prevent serious injury. Also, rather than simply leaving the turtle in the sea, they should notify the port police and/or ARCHELON and, if possible, to hold the turtle until help arrives. For more information about what to do in this and other situations involving injured turtles, read the article on the website (http://www.archelon.gr/eng/pedio_first_aid.php?row=row5)
How you can help the turtles at the Rescue Centre:
Symbolically adopt a turtle – your donation will help pay for the food and medical supplies needed for the turtles being treated at the RC (http://www.archelon.gr/eng/sponsoreaturtle.php?row=row9)
Donations of food for the turtles and medical supplies can be dropped off at the RC (get more information about this here: http://www.archelon.gr/eng/pedio_rescue.php?row=row5
Visit the RC during the hours itʼs open to the public (every Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.) to see and learn about the turtles and the work being done there.
Buy a T-shirt or other item from our RC shop or buy a gift online (http://www.archelon.gr/eng/gifts.php?row=row11)
Make a donation online (http://www.archelon.gr/eng/donations.php)
If you are a teacher, arrange for a class field trip to the RC
Volunteer to help out several hours a week at the RC (Contact RC Co-ordinator Pavlos Tsaros at 69728779626972877962).