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Rescue Center News

Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?

Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events of the week between 11th and 17th May 2012.

Volunteer news

A group of American students from the University of Indianapolis, who are currently studying here in Greece at the Universityʼs Athens campus, have decided to help us as day volunteers for two weeks.

Turtle news

This week was quite a hectic one, particularly considering the time of year. Although everyone was enthusiastic about preparing for the releases of some of the turtles who have recovered their health, the number of new arrivals and the type of injuries they had was a bit disconcerting.

New arrivals

First there was “Tixeri” (pronounced Tiheri which translated from the original Greek means “Lucky”), a 24-kilo Caretta caretta who arrived on 11th May 2012 from Lamia with a severe, deliberately-inflicted-by-human-hands head injury. The turtle was brought to the RC by members of a private institute working with marine life. “Tixeri” had a large amount (approximately 2 kilos) of encrustations on her carapace, indicating that she had possibly been wintering in the area. An X-ray revealed that “Tixeri” has two implanted microchip tags placed by an organization in another country, indicating that she is a nesting turtle. (In the X-ray, you can see the chip which had been implanted near her right rear flipper.) RC Co-ordinator Pavlo Tsaros will do a scan of the tags to find out more about her and to notify the organization involved. At the moment, she is receiving medical treatment. Many thanks to the concerned people who found the turtle and personally brought it to the RC.

Next there was “Olympia”, an 11-kilo Caretta caretta, who arrived on 12th May 2012 from Chania, with injuries caused by fishing line as well as a severe head injury (also not an accidental one). Her X-rays revealed she had not ingested any hooks. A concerned fisherman notified the authorities, who arranged for her transport to the RC. “Olympia” is currently receiving medical treatment. Many thanks to everyone involved in helping to rescue her.

Then there was “Nikos”, a 6-kilo Caretta caretta from Rethymno, yet another turtle who not only had had the misfortune of becoming entangled by fishing line but also received a severe blow to his head. His X-rays show that he hasnʼt ingested any hooks, but he has ingested fishing line, in addition to his flipper and (non-accidental) head injury. A concerned local fisherman reported the turtle to Aliki Panagopoulou, a former ARCHELON Project Co-ordinator now conducting dissertation research in the Rethymno area. Many thanks to everyone involved for helping rescue this turtle.

Another arrival this week was “Giorgos”, a 2.7-kilo Caretta caretta from Zakynthos. He has a flipper injury caused by fishing line, and an X-ray revealed that he had also ingested a hook. More details about him will be available next week. Many thanks to everyone involved in helping rescue “Giorgos”.

Finally, late in the afternoon of 17th May 2012, yet another turtle arrived, this time from nearby Salamina. This 31-kilo Caretta caretta, “Michela”, has no visible injuries. More details will be available next week.

Release

The first turtle released this year was “Panos”. On 14th 2012 May, a group of RC volunteers accompanied “Panos” to Legrena Beach, where he enthusiastically returned to the sea. “Panosʼʼ recovery was a happy one since he had been recuperating from a severe (non-accidental) head injury, which is visible in photos. We all wish him a long and healthy life! To watch a video of the release, click here: https://vimeo.com/42300071

Other news

A large land turtle with a severe carapace injury was brought to the RC. The injury was possibly caused by a fall from a high place (such as a balcony). Since only sea turtles are treated at the RC, the land turtle is being sent to ANIMA for treatment. Thanks to them for caring for this turtle.

The results of a necropsy carried out by the veterinary team at Aristotle University on “Magia”, a green turtle with no visible injuries who died shortly after her arrival at the RC last week, revealed that her death was caused by a very severe case of pneumonia. Many thanks to everyone at the University for their help.

Did you know...

According to ARCHELONʼs 2011 Rethymno summer field project research, approximately 12,000 Caretta caretta hatchlings were recorded to have reached the sea. Since an average of only 1 out of 1,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood, this means that by the time this group reaches the age of reproductive maturity (i.e. 12-20 years from now), there will only be 12 adult turtles from this 2011 Rethymno nesting period! Need more be said?

Joanne Stournara




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