Turtles start their journey

2019-01-15 06:00
A new startA turtle being released.

A new startA turtle being released.

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Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018.

Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy. “Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water. This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he.

Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time. Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection. He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him. He responded well to treatment and in July he was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit, where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness.

Moya is a sub-adult green turtle and was rescued off Cola Beach near Sedgefield by Janet Byrne in early October 2017.

Byrne contacted the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness and Rehabilitation Centre, which guided her through the steps of stranded animal first-responder actions and contacted the relevant authorities to coordinate the process.

A total of 14 juvenile loggerhead turtles, which have been in rehabilitation for between six and 18 months, were given the all-clear by the aquarium’s veterinarian and can now continue their lives back in the wild ocean.

“Releasing healthy rehabilitated turtles back into the open ocean is an absolute highlight for all of us. After months, and sometimes years, of dedicated care, watching these turtles swim off, getting that second chance, is what our conservation work is all about. As a threatened species we do whatever we can to contribute to saving turtles, but also saving our oceans. This cannot be achieved without the incredible support of the public and our amazing turtle team as well as our very kind donors who made it possible to satellite tag two more turtles this year. These turtles, and their stories, will hopefully inspire many to care more for our planet,” says Maryke Musson, curator of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

During the winter months, hatchling turtles are swept down from the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal (where they hatch) in the mighty Agulhas Current and are washed ashore by stormy seas. They are often extremely compromised and very weak due to dehydration and exposure to cold water. The stranded turtles are brought to the aquarium by caring members of the public and are rehabilitated in preparation for their release back into the warm ocean. The turtles range in size from 20g up to 80kg. Rehabilitation can last more than a year, depending on the needs of each individual, as some are not only suffering from hypothermia, but are also injured and require treatment, which can include X-rays, blood tests and specialist veterinary consultations. Some turtles even go to human hospitals to get MRI and CT scans.

Turtle metabolisms are quite slow and their digestive systems become particularly slow and even start to shut down if they’ve been floating for a long time due to some distress. One of the signs which the animal health team eagerly look out for is defecation by the turtle – this is an indication that the turtle’s gut is finally returning to normal and also reveals that there are no blockages such as plastic in the turtle’s digestive system.

Noci and Bob, the aquarium’s famous turtle ambassador, both expelled pieces of plastic after some time in rehabilitation. Alvi, the aquarium’s newest rescue turtle, had plastic removed from its oesophagus, and is recovering well.

The aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehab and release work depends on round-the-clock work by a dedicated team of staff members. Green sea turtles, together with loggerheads, leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles, are all threatened species that need our help to survive in South Africa’s waters. V To see what to do if you find a sea turtle on any Western Cape beach visit www.aquarum.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do/

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018.

Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility.

Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy.

“Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water.

This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he.

Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time.

Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection. He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him. He responded well to treatment and in Julyhe was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness.

Moya is a sub-adult green turtle and was rescued off Cola Beach near Sedgefield by Janet Byrne in early October 2017.

Byrne contacted the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness and Rehabilitation Centre, which guided her through the steps of stranded animal first-responder actions and contacted the relevant authorities to coordinate the process.

A total of 14 juvenile loggerhead turtles, which have been in rehabilitation for between six and 18 months, were given the all-clear by the aquarium’s veterinarian and can now continue their lives back in the wild ocean.

V To see what to do if you find a sea turtle on any Western Cape beach visit www.aquarum.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do/

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018.

Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy. “Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water. This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he.

Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time.

Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection. He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him. He responded well to treatment and in July he was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit, where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness.

Moya is a sub-adult green turtle and was rescued off Cola Beach near Sedgefield by Janet Byrne in early October 2017.

Byrne contacted the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness and Rehabilitation Centre, which guided her through the steps of stranded animal first-responder actions and contacted the relevant authorities to coordinate the process. A total of 14 juvenile loggerhead turtles, which have been in rehabilitation for between six and 18 months, were given the all-clear by the aquarium’s veterinarian and can now continue their lives back in the wild ocean.

V To see what to do if you find a sea turtle on any Western Cape beach visit www.aquarum.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do/

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018.

Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy. “Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water. This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he.

Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time. Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection. He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him. He responded well to treatment and in July he was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit, where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness.

Moya is a sub-adult green turtle and was rescued off Cola Beach near Sedgefield by Janet Byrne in early October 2017.

Byrne contacted the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness and Rehabilitation Centre, which guided her through the steps of stranded animal first-responder actions and contacted the relevant authorities to coordinate the process.

A total of 14 juvenile loggerhead turtles, which have been in rehabilitation for between six and 18 months, were given the all-clear by the aquarium’s veterinarian and can now continue their lives back in the wild ocean.

“Releasing healthy rehabilitated turtles back into the open ocean is an absolute highlight for all of us. After months, and sometimes years, of dedicated care, watching these turtles swim off, getting that second chance, is what our conservation work is all about. As a threatened species we do whatever we can to contribute to saving turtles, but also saving our oceans. This cannot be achieved without the incredible support of the public and our amazing turtle team as well as our very kind donors who made it possible to satellite tag two more turtles this year. These turtles, and their stories, will hopefully inspire many to care more for our planet,” says Maryke Musson, curator of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

During the winter months, hatchling turtles are swept down from the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal (where they hatch) in the mighty Agulhas Current and are washed ashore by stormy seas. They are often extremely compromised and very weak due to dehydration and exposure to cold water. The stranded turtles are brought to the aquarium by caring members of the public and are rehabilitated in preparation for their release back into the warm ocean. The turtles range in size from 20g up to 80kg. Rehabilitation can last more than a year, depending on the needs of each individual, as some are not only suffering from hypothermia, but are also injured and require treatment, which can include X-rays, blood tests and specialist veterinary consultations. Some turtles even go to human hospitals to get MRI and CT scans.

Turtle metabolisms are quite slow and their digestive systems become particularly slow and even start to shut down if they’ve been floating for a long time due to some distress. One of the signs which the animal health team eagerly look out for is defecation by the turtle – this is an indication that the turtle’s gut is finally returning to normal and also reveals that there are no blockages such as plastic in the turtle’s digestive system.

Noci and Bob, the aquarium’s famous turtle ambassador, both expelled pieces of plastic after some time in rehabilitation. Alvi, the aquarium’s newest rescue turtle, had plastic removed from its oesophagus, and is recovering well.

The aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehab and release work depends on round-the-clock work by a dedicated team of staff members. Green sea turtles, together with loggerheads, leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles, are all threatened species that need our help to survive in South Africa’s waters. V To see what to do if you find a sea turtle on any Western Cape beach visit www.aquarum.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do/

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018. Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy. “Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water. This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he. Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time. Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection. He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him. He responded well to treatment and in Julyhe was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness.

Moya is a sub-adult green turtle and was rescued off Cola Beach near Sedgefield by Janet Byrne in early October 2017.

Byrne contacted the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness and Rehabilitation Centre, which guided her through the steps of stranded animal first-responder actions and contacted the relevant authorities to coordinate the process.

A total of 14 juvenile loggerhead turtles, which have been in rehabilitation for between six and 18 months, were given the all-clear by the aquarium’s veterinarian and can now continue their lives back in the wild ocean. “Releasing healthy rehabilitated turtles back into the open ocean is an absolute highlight for all of us. After months, and sometimes years, of dedicated care, watching these turtles swim off, getting that second chance, is what our conservation work is all about,” says Maryke Musson, curator of the Two Oceans

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads. These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017. Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018.

Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy. “Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water. This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he. Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time.

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018. Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility.

Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy.

“Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water.

This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018. However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he. Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time. Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection. He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him. He responded well to treatment and in July he was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness.

V To see what to do if you find a sea turtle on any Western Cape beach visit www.aquarum.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do/

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017.

Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips.

The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018.

Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy. “Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life.

“ I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water. This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he.

Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time.

Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection.

He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him.

He responded well to treatment and in July he was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit, where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness. V To see what to do if you find a sea turtle on any Western Cape beach visit www.aquarum.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do/

Two Oceans Aquarium released 17 sea turtles into the warm currents of the open ocean 20 nautical miles off Cape Point on Friday 20 December.

The released animals included two sub-adult green turtles, a sub-adult loggerhead turtle, and 14 juvenile loggerheads.

These turtles join Yoshi, an adult loggerhead turtle, which was released back into the wild last year on Saturday 16 December 2017. Like Yoshi, two of the turtles, a loggerhead and a green turtle, were equipped with satellite tags, and all the turtles were fitted with microchips. The satellite tags will enable the aquarium team to track and monitor the turtles’ movements over the next few years. The aquarium has also tagged and tracked two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles and is currently following the journeys of Yoshi, and Pemba, an olive ridley turtle, which was released in March 2018.

Sandy, a sub-adult green turtle, was found by Sarah Halse, conservator of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust, near Witsand in September 2016. The turtle was in a terrible condition with five large gashes through its carapace – the injuries were so deep that Halse could see lung tissue moving up and down inside the gashes. It is suspected, judging by the size and shape of the gashes, that the injuries were caused by boat propellers.

Halse drove the turtle immediately to the Two Oceans Aquarium where it was admitted to the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. Rehabilitation for Sandy meant daily, painstaking cleaning of her wounds, picking out beach sand and other debris from under her severely damaged carapace and then carefully disinfecting the wounds and monitoring her health.

Talitha Noble, the aquarium’s conservation coordinator, has built a unique relationship with Sandy. “Sandy arrived at the aquarium at a time when I was dealing with a difficult part of my life. I arrived at work that Monday and there was this turtle – she looked like she was dead, with these incredible gashes in her shell that must have been the most painful thing she’s ever experienced. I just had this immediate thought of, ‘How on Earth can I be complaining about my situation when this turtle is being so resilient and is still alive after having suffered so incredibly?’ Caring for her required daily patience – cleaning her wounds, gently speaking to her, feeding her, changing her water. This really built a solid bond between us. This has definitely been one of the most special relationships of my life,” says Noble.

Nocawe, or Noci, as he was affectionately known, is a male adult loggerhead turtle and was discovered washed up on a beach near Witsand by Mark and Sharon Coller. He was given the isiXhosa name Nocawe which means “Girl who arrived on Sunday” as he arrived at the aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release centre on Sunday 29 April 2018.

However, it was later determined via an ultrasound that she was actually a he.Upon arrival at the aquarium he was given a thorough examination and although no major external injuries were found, the presence of the barnacles on his carapace indicated that he had been floating for quite some time. Blood samples were taken for analysis and the results indicated that he had a systemic infection. He was treated with a range of antibiotics, antifungals and vitamins and given fluids to rehydrate him. He responded well to treatment and in July he was moved into the I&J Ocean Exhibit, where he has slowly regained his health and swimming fitness.

Moya is a sub-adult green turtle and was rescued off Cola Beach near Sedgefield by Janet Byrne in early October 2017.

Byrne contacted the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness and Rehabilitation Centre, which guided her through the steps of stranded animal first-responder actions and contacted the relevant authorities to coordinate the process. A total of 14 juvenile loggerhead turtles, which have been in rehabilitation for between six and 18 months, were given the all-clear by the aquarium’s veterinarian and can now continue their lives back in the wild ocean. “Releasing healthy rehabilitated turtles back into the open ocean is an absolute highlight for all of us. After months, and sometimes years, of dedicated care, watching these turtles swim off, getting that second chance, is what our conservation work is all about. As a threatened species we do whatever we can to contribute to saving turtles, but also saving our oceans. This cannot be achieved without the incredible support of the public and our amazing turtle team as well as our very kind donors who made it possible to satellite tag two more turtles this year. These turtles, and their stories, will hopefully inspire many to care more for our planet,” says Maryke Musson, curator of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

Turtle metabolisms are quite slow and their digestive systems become particularly slow and even start to shut down if they’ve been floating for a long time due to some distress. One of the signs which the animal health team eagerly look out for is defecation by the turtle – this is an indication that the turtle’s gut is finally returning to normal and also reveals that there are no blockages such as plastic in the turtle’s digestive system. Noci and Bob, the aquarium’s famous turtle ambassador, both expelled pieces of plastic after some time in rehabilitation. Alvi, the aquarium’s newest rescue turtle, had plastic removed from its oesophagus, and is recovering well. The aquarium’s turtle rescue, rehab and release work depends on round-the-clock work by a dedicated team of staff members. Green sea turtles, together with loggerheads, leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles, are all threatened species that need our help to survive in South Africa’s waters. V If you find a sea turtle on beach visit www.aquarum.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do/

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