Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre in November?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events from 8-30 November 2014.
Number of turtles currently being treated: 25
ʽIoachimʼ, a small green turtle (whose carapace is 31cm long), was found near Rafina on 16 November with a severe head injury caused by deliberate human action. The turtle is weak and is currently under observation out of the water in a small, empty tank in the office of Pavlos Tsaros, the RC Co-ordinator.
ʽStellaʼ arrived from Lesvos on 24 November with a head injury. She is 70cm carapace length and 40 kilos. She came from Nyfida Beach, which is a place difficult to access. She was not able to be moved immediately because of this, but was looked after by the local port police officer on duty that day. The following day, a group of people from the local community got together and arranged for the transport of the turtle to the RC. Many thanks to everyone involved for their help in rescuing this turtle. Her condition is stable at the moment.
Two more turtles which had recovered from their injuries were released:
ʽKaterinaʼ, who had come to the RC from Volos on 23 June with an ingested hook which was surgically removed, was released by boat on 14 November. Many thanks to the Aqua Divers Club for providing their boat for the release.
ʽDiaʼ, who had come to the RC from 5 August from Parnona (southern Peloponnese) with an ingested hook, was released on 14 November by boat. Once again, it was possible to release the turtle out at sea thanks to the Aqua Divers Club, who provided their boat.
Photos of the 2014 releases have been posted on the website. Check them out to see many old friends (human and turtle). http://www.archelon.gr/eng/release_photos.php?y=2014&row=row5
The condition of ʽAntonisʼ has stabilized! As mentioned in the previous report, the turtle had a very severe head injury which had been deliberately inflicted by human action. At the time of this writing, the hemorrhaging has finally stopped. However, since he is unable to eat on his own he must be tube-fed, a procedure which has not yet been attempted because of the danger of upsetting him and restarting the hemorrhaging.
ʽRaniaʼ, who had come to the RC from Kimi on 5 October with an ingested line and a severe flipper injury likely caused by entanglement in fishing line, died on 10 November. (As we have reported previously, ingested lines are actually more dangerous than ingested hooks and can cause fatal injuries.)
ʽMinaʼ, the turtle which had been at the RC for over 11 years, was put down. A longer, separate article dedicated to her will appear on the website shortly.
ʽXanthiʼ, who had arrived at the RC on 25 September with a head injury, died on 15 November.
ʽPanagiotaʼ, who had arrived at the RC on 19 October 2014 from Katakolo with a severe head wound and flipper injuries, died on 14 November. As mentioned in the previous report, she also had a large quantity of sand stuck in her esophagus. Once again, we would like to thank the Katakolo port police for their help in rescuing and trying to save this turtle.
ʽPiouʼ, a small loggerhead with a missing front flipper and weighing just 840 grams, was found ʽpaddlingʼ around Pireaus Harbor on 20 July 2012 with the letters MD carved on one side of his small 19.5cm carapace, has grown bigger and stronger, but is still unable to dive. (Fortunately, with the passage of time, the carvings are no longer visible.) By the end of 2012, his carapace had grown to 24 cm, and his weight had increased to 1.6 kilos, and as of now he has grown to 37.5 cm.
As he has grown, it has become obvious that his carapace is deformed, a condition which, together with his missing flipper, prevents him from diving. This means he will not be able to survive in the wild and will be sent to an aquarium. We do not know whether he was born with these problems or if they were the result of conditions he encountered after his birth. You can see a short video of ʽPiouʼ here: https://vimeo.com/113524478
Did you know...
According to Greek and international laws for the protection of endangered species, port police are required to officially report every stranded or injured sea turtle they encounter. In cases where the turtleʼs death or injury was deliberated caused by human intervention, the authorities should investigate the matter and bring the person responsible to justice. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons this rarely happens. Hopefully, with the changing climate in Greece regarding the treatment of animals, the situation will change and the killing of wild animals in their own habitats for no reason other than that they are considered to be nuisances will stop. We encourage everyone – i.e. both officials and ordinary citizens alike – to stop turning a blind eye to these violations of the law.
How you can help the turtles at the Rescue Centre:
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.
Make your Christmas gifts, and help the turtles at the same time: Donate for a T-shirt or other item from the RC reception area or online. We just had some new items added to our souvenirs in time for the holidays! 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. Book at 210-52 31 342.
Volunteer to help out several hours a week at the RC. (Contact RC Co-ordinator Pavlo Tsaros at 69728779626972877962.) If you are a Greek speaker, you can join our new Greek volunteer group. Come and help us spread the word!
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
Speaking of donating medical supplies, we would like to thank the two Scout groups, who visited the RC on 29/11/14. They brought a lot of medical supplies, which will be put to good use when caring for the turtles. The group leaders had planned ahead to make the visit a meaningful one for the children: They had prepared a booklet of educational activities and materials downloaded from the Teacherʼs Toolbox section of the ARCHELON website, and the children completed the activities while they were at the RC. They learned a lot about sea turtles and had lots of questions. http://www.archelon.gr/eng/aggogi_Toolbox.php?row=row6
You can help a turtle now – and at the same time receive ARCHELONʼs 2015 lucky charm gift – by taking advantage of our special Christmas adoption offer. http://www.archelon.gr/eng/sponsoreaturtle.php?row=row9
Thanks also to the children in the Pre-Kindergarten class of the Hellenic American Educational Foundation (HAEF), who symbolically adopted ʽPhaedraʼ, one of the turtles currently being treated at the RC, for two months!
To Yiannis Orfanos from Naxos (a member of the Naxos Wildlife Protection group https://www.facebook.com/ProstasiaAgriasZoesNaxou) who stopped by to visit the turtle ʽYiannisʼ he had rescued and to make arrangements for the turtleʼs return to the island, where it will be released.