Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events of the week between 29th June and 5th July 2012.
ʽIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times, ...it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...ʼ This extract from Charles Dickensʼ opening sentence in the novel A Tale of Two Cities says it all.
On the bright side, there were three releases this week: ʽGiorgosʼ and ʽApostolisʼ were released by boat with the help of the port police (Thanks so much!), and ʽCleoʼ was released in early evening from Legrena Beach. As always, the volunteers who had been caring for the turtles all these months were happy that they had recovered their health and could once again live freely in the sea, but at the same time were concerned about the turtleʼs future, since the injuries to all three of the turtles had been caused – directly or indirectly – by human factors. Our best wishes go with them.
In addition, a hook which ʽIoannaʼ had ingested was successfully removed surgically. She is doing well and once she has fully recovered, can be released back into the sea.
Unfortunately, these happy events were overshadowed by the arrival of an adult male turtle named ʽPavloʼ from Arta. The turtle had been found by members of the Amvrakikos Bay Management Agency. Why is this turtleʼs injury more shocking than any other? A 15-cm nail had been driven through the animalʼs head by persons unknown. (Yes, you have read it right: a 15-cm nail, driven straight through the animalʼs head, from top to bottom – you can easily see it in the photo of the X-ray.) Our veterinarian removed the nail and managed to stop the hemorrhaging. However, the fate of this turtle is unknown at the moment since the extent of the damage caused by this torture – if the turtle survives – will become apparent as time goes on.
Many thanks to everyone at the Amvrakikos Bay Management Agency for once again performing their jobs excellently, particularly in these difficult economic times when people are struggling to survive and to keep themselves motivated in light of increased work loads, pay cuts, loss of benefits, etc.
As part of a pre-scheduled, annual programme, RC Co-ordinator Pavlos Tsaros is working in the Amvrakikos Bay area for several days on the ARCHELON turtle tagging project.
Groups of students from the U.S. in the People to People Ambassador Program, have been visiting the RC almost daily. After a presentation about sea turtles and the work of ARCHELON, the visitors are given a tour of the RC and talk with volunteers who care for the turtles. They also kindly help volunteers with some basic but very important tasks like cleaning tanks and groundskeeping. Many thanks to everyone and their group leaders for their invaluable help as well as their support of ARCHELON by adopting turtles.
Did you know ...
In 2002, Amvrakikos Bay was the site for ARCHELONʼs first telemetry project. The project provided interesting results, including tracking of a loggerhead from the Bay for over 2,000 km to the shores of Syria and Turkey. Since then, ARCHELON has been operating an on-going research programme in the area. Researchers catch sea turtles by hand in the shallow waters of the Bay. The turtles are measured, photographed, and tagged, and samples are taken for genetic analysis. The size and structure of the population and growth rates of individuals are expected to be assessed by this programme, facts that are important in understanding the ecology of loggerhead turtles in Greece, the Mediterranean and over a wider area. (For more information, click here. http://www.archelon.gr/eng/Sponsor_Amvrakikos_turtle.php )