Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events of the week between 31st August and 6th September 2012.
ʽKalo ftinoporoʼ to everyone! (This is the traditional Greek way of welcoming people back after the summer holiday period. It basically means, ʽHappy autumn!ʼ) Every year during the month of August, the RC is closed to the public so that routine maintenance work (like painting, etc.) can be done. Starting with the weekend 8-9 September, the RC doors will once again be open to receive visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from 11.00-17.00. (For information about booking a school or group visit, see below.) Hope you will come by and see us!
Our two full-time EVS volunteers Philip and Angelika are doing an excellent job caring for the turtles. Fortunately, they have been getting some help from local daily volunteers who come in whenever they can and do whatever they can to help ARCHELON and the turtles. Although itʼs not possible to mention everyoneʼs name, thanks are also due to the people from all parts of Greece and from all walks of life – and there are many – who are concerned about the turtles and help rescue and transport them to the RC. Special thanks to Dimitri, Chrysoula, Tasos and Marilena for (among the many other jobs they do) picking up turtles from the port and other locations, and to Mariyanna for co-coordinating the rescue operations whenever help is needed.
Day volunteers are always welcome. There are many different jobs which need to be done, so if you have some time and would like to help, please contact RC Coordinator Pavlos Tsaros at 210-8944444.
No new turtles arrived during the period of this report, but here is some more information about the turtles briefly mentioned last week. ʽPolyʼ (short for ʽPolychronosʼ, which in Greek is a wish for someone to have a long life), had arrived on 10 August with an eye injury. She has been receiving antibiotics, and has started diving and eating by himself, which is a good sign. ʽXeniaʼ who came from Skopelos on 22 August with a head injury, is receiving antibiotics and drips. She is 63 cm long and weighs 26 kilograms. ʽNioniosʼ, (71 cm, 46 kilos) arrived on 27 August from Porto Rafti with an ingested hook. X-rays showed that the hook is embedded high in his oesophagus, and it was removed surgically by our veterinarian. ʽEmiliaʼ, 46 cm, 8 kg, arrived from Lamia on 29 August with an ingested hook, which was removed surgically by our veterinarian. She still has some fishing line in her system, which we hope will pass through in the next few weeks.
At the moment, ʽAdrianoʼ, ʽMariaʼ, and ʽMyriamʼ are in outdoor tanks. Their behavior is monitored daily to determine how well they can swim, dive and eat in deep water. The first two both had injuries caused by collisions with boats, and the latter (a green turtle) had been hit on the head by someone. ʽCassandraʼ, who had been rescued by the fisherman Christos in Crete when he found her with her flippers entangled in a fishing net, is also in a big tank and doing well.
In the ICU unit, ʽPavloʼ is being tube-fed. (If you remember, he is the turtle who has been fighting to survive after having been cruelly tortured.) Tiny ʽPiouʼ (another victim of cruelty) is doing well. He is missing a front flipper and because of his small size has difficulty diving except in shallow water, but has a very hearty appetite, which is a good sign.
School or group visits
The RC is once again accepting reservations for school or group visits. For more information about the ARCHELON environmental education program please contact Anthoula Toyia at 210-8982600 or 6932-640909, or to book a visit for your school or group, you may contact our main office at 210-5231342.
Did you know ...
Sea turtles play an important role in the cycle of life on the planet. Each species has unique behaviours which help keep the ocean floor ecosystem healthy, improve nesting beaches, or even by providing food for other species. For an easy-to-read report with lots of fantastic photos, take a look at this one, called Why Healthy Oceans Need Sea Turtles prepared by Oceana. http://oceana.org/sites/default/files/reports/Why_Healthy_Oceans_Need_Sea_Turtles.pdf