Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre?
We almost had a new arrival from Amorgos this week. A Caretta caretta was found by the port police in Amorgos and promptly taken to a veterinarian for examination and first aid before being transported to the Rescue Centre. Unfortunately, he/she died a few hours after her rescue. Many thanks to the port police for their invaluable help and their efforts to try and save the turtle.
The low temperatures which we have been experiencing are potentially dangerous for our turtles. Like all other cold-blooded animals, turtles cannot auto regulate their internal temperature when they are in a cold environment; their metabolism slows down, and in severe conditions they can even die.
Here at the Rescue Centre, special precautions are taken to protect the turtles from the cold. They are all kept safely inside the intensive care unit, each in his/her own tank with special water heaters. The water temperature is checked regularly to ensure that proper temperatures are maintained and that the turtles are not stressed by the cold. You can help by donating funds to acquire more heaters.
Throughout the year, reports of turtles which are found dead in all parts of Greece are sent to the Rescue Centre by local port police or private citizens (see photo). The information is entered into a computer database, and at the end of the year, a report is generated and submitted to various Greek and European authorities. The 2011 data is still being analyzed, but preliminary results indicate that, unfortunately, the number of dead sea turtles has increased from 2010, and that a majority of the deaths were caused by human activity, either directly (intentional assault, usually by a blow to the head or carapace with a sharp object) or indirectly (hook and line ingestion, drowning due to entanglement in fishing nets, being hit by boats, etc.).
The summary of the report should be posted on the website when it has been completed.
Turtle update: Adriano
“Adriano” came to the RC on 3 June from Lefkada. He had a carapace and head injury, most likely from a boatʼs propeller. The left side of his beak and mouth had been cut off, and he had a deep gash across his back (see photos). Adriano had been found and named by a German tourist and was helped by the Animal Welfare Society.
At first he was unable to eat on his own and was tubefed. Gradually, his injuries began to heal and he became well enough to eat pieces of fish and squid fed to him by hand. He has now started to try to pick up food from the bottom. Hopefully, his progress will continue and he will be able to eat on his own, so that he can eventually be able to be released back into the sea.
Did you know...
One way a turtleʼs physical condition is determined is by regular observation. Each turtle at the Rescue Centre is regularly monitored for an hour several times a week (see photo) to check things like where they spend most of their time – at the surface (indicating they have a problem diving), or at the bottom (a sign of normal behavior), whether they are able to swim in a balanced position or with an incline to either the right or left (indicating a lung condition), how often they surface for air, how active they are, etc.
The measurements are entered into a computer database, from which a report of their behavior over time is generated. This provides a picture of the turtleʼs progress during the course of their therapy and ensures that they are provided with the appropriate treatments.
Thatʼs all for now ... have a nice week!