Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
A number of very welcome volunteers (including 12 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday) helped out at the RC. Some were people who had finished their work on various ARCHELON nesting beach projects, and others were some of our loyal local volunteers. Besides taking care of the turtles, the volunteers did painting and gardening tasks, and the RC now has a fresh, clean look. Many thanks to everyone! (If you would like to help out at the RC, contact Pavlo Tsaros at 210-8944444.)
We were also fortunate to have the help (for the second year in a row) of a group of students from the International School of Zug and Luzern. The students had been taking diving lessons with the Aqua Diverʼs Club, and thanks to the excellent collaboration with both groups, the students assisted in “Cassandras" release and conducted a cleanup of the sea floor in the release area. In addition to that, the students came to the RC several times and helped take care of the turtles and did other much needed jobs like painting and groundskeeping. They also adopted four of our turtles: ʽTaxiarchisʼ, ʽPiouʼ, ʽNioniosʼ, and ʽMarinaʼ. Many, many thanks to them and the teachers who accompanied them for their hard work and support of ARCHELON.
There were three new Caretta caretta arrivals this week: ʽPenelopeʼ (73.5 cm, 38 kilograms) on 6th September from Rhodes with head, neck, and carapace injuries. ʽSophiaʼ (56.5 cm, 19 kilograms), on 8th September from Nafpaktos with a head injury, and ʽKiaraʼ (60 cm, 25 kilograms), on 10th September from Corfu with a head injury. At the moment they are receiving a course of treatment with antibiotics and drips.
Out of the 25 turtles currently being treated, 18 have head-related injuries. This means they will need more care and more time to recover, and will most likely have to be kept at the RC over the winter.
Other news: ʽCassandraʼ was released with everyoneʼs best wishes on 19th September. Many thanks to the Aqua Diverʼs Club for providing their boat to transport her to the release area. Also thanks to the diving club students for their help. ʽMyriamʼ and ʽTaxiarchisʼ are doing very well and hopefully will be able to be released soon. ʽPavloʼ tries to eat food offered to him by hand but canʼt manage to do it yet. ʽNioniosʼ is doing well after the huge fish hook he had ingested was surgically removed. The hook is the largest Iʼve seen during my time at the RC – Iʼm told itʼs the type of hook used to catch swordfish.
Did you know ...
There are many environmental education activities and games designed for children available on the internet. The websites are in English, so your child (or students, if you are a teacher) may need some help from you if he/she is very young and/or doesnʼt know English, but they are worth checking out. For example, you can find a variety of activities for children of various ages at this site: http://www.tourdeturtles.org/activities.php. Just to give you an idea of what youʼll find: For very young children, thereʼs a memory-type card game, where the player has to find matching pictures to reveal the hidden picture underneath. For older children, there is a multi-part scientific activity called Sea Turtle Hatchling Orientation from Nest to Ocean, where children learn about the effects of things like light and beach slope on hatchlingsʼ attempts to reach the sea, a slide show with sea turtle facts, and lots of other interesting things. Enjoy!