Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events of the week between 27th April and 10th May 2012.
Another busy week at the Rescue Centre
The six outdoor tanks are up and running! “Nancy”, “Marina”, “Thanassis”, “Cleo”ʼ, “Panos”, and “Maria” are enjoying their new, large tanks. More importantly, their diving, feeding and general behavior in the large tanks is observed and recorded by volunteers every day in order to assess whether they are well enough to be released back into the sea.
On 30 April 2012, “Apostolis”, a 10 kilo/60 cm green turtle, arrived at the Rescue Centre from Chamolia (Markopoulo, Attika). A day earlier, it had been found in the sea, struggling to free itself from a plastic bag which had become wrapped around its head. The person who found the turtle (and after whom it is named) removed the plastic bag, and the turtle immediately swam away. However, the next day he found the turtle again, barely breathing, with both its eyes swollen shut. After arriving at the RC, “Apostolis” was cleaned, given first aid, and examined by our veterinarian. One of “Apostolisʼʼ eyes is now open, and he seems to be able to see. It is possible that his eyes were intentionally injured by person(s) unknown. Many thanks to Mr. Apostolis and his neighbors for his invaluable help in saving this turtle.
“Stella” and “Chrysanthi” have both started to eat by themselves, which indicates their health is improving and, if their progress continues, hopefully they will be released soon.
“Maya”, a 5-kilo green turtle found near Edipsos, Evia, arrived at the RC on 6th May 2012. The turtle had no visible injuries, but was very weak. Unfortunately, “Maya” died shortly after arrival. A necropsy to determine the cause of death will be performed at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki.
A large number of turtles (approximately 13) were found dead in Alexandroupolis, two of which seemed to have been deliberately killed. This tragic event is being investigated by the authorities.
For details about these – and all the turtles being treated – click on each oneʼs link on the “Turtles at the Rescue Centre” section of the website.
RC Co-ordinator Pavlos Tsaros received some phone calls recently which proved that, despite the discouraging news we are all being bombarded with every day, there are still some good things happening.
A caller from Kefalonia informed ARCHELON that he had found two turtles close to shore, entangled together with fishing lines. He quickly realized that both would drown if nothing were done, so he cut them free. Both immediately swam away and quickly disappeared into the sea. When thanked by Pavlo for his help, the “Good Samaritan” said, “when I saw the two animals in distress, what else was I supposed to do?”
A caller from Pireaus called to report that she had seen a pod of dolphins swimming about 200 meters offshore. Since dolphins usually donʼt swim so close to land, she was concerned about this unusual event and wanted to notify someone about it.
Another caller had found an injured land turtle and didnʼt know what to do to help it. She was referred to a veterinarian who could help her.
Thanks to all these concerned people for showing us that there is still some light in the tunnel.
Turtle releases will be starting very soon. If you are interested in attending a release and have your own transportation to get to Legrena Beach (Palaia Fokaia), please contact Pavlos Tsaros at 210-8944444 for more information.
Did you know...
Three types of sea turtles – all endangered species – are found in the Mediterranean: Caretta caretta (loggerhead), Chelonia mydas (green turtle) and Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback).
Only the loggerheads nest in Greece, but we sometimes find green turtles in our area. (In fact, we have two green turtles now at the RC: “Myriam” (found near Rhodes) and “Apostolis” (found near Markopoulo, Attika). Leatherbacks are rarely seen in our area nowadays, but according to a local fisherman who an ARCHELON volunteer recently made acquaintance with and who briefly met with Pavlo Tsaros, twenty years ago a huge leatherback (unfortunately dead) was found in the Glyfada area and towed to the 2nd Marina. It was so huge that a crane capable of lifting one ton could not lift it out of the sea!
If you want to learn more about leatherbacks, there are many articles and pictures on the internet about them, for example: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/leatherback-sea-turtle/.
Special note: On Sunday, 27 May, ARCHELON will host a special event at the RC to celebrate the International Day of the Turtle. Keep watching the website for details.