Sea turtles are an ancient species believed to have been around for the past 110 million years. Although these marine reptiles have had a long history, their future doesn’t look quite as durable as their past, with six out of the seven species found throughout the world being listed as endangered or even critically endangered.
With today marking the 17th annual Endangered Species Day, we felt that it was only fitting to share this remarkable story of how a dedicated team in Maputo National Park is helping to rescue an endangered green turtle.
This female green turtle was found by one of the diving concessions that operate off the coast of Ponto do Ouro in Mozambique. As the boat approached the turtle, she made several attempts to dive underwater but it soon became obvious that something was wrong. Thanks to a quick response and collaborative efforts from Maputo National Park’s marine rangers anddiving operators, Gozo Azul Dive Centre and Dolphin Centre, the turtle was rehabilitated in a safe environment.
After spending the first 24 hours at the Dolphin Centre, she was placed in the capable hands of the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance team. They worked closely with wildlife vets in South Africa to make sure she got the best possible treatment. The turtle was also sent for X-Rays to diagnose what was wrong and work out a treatment plan.
Although it’s important for nature to take its course, Peace Parks Foundation recognises that human intervention is necessary for endangered species such as these, whose numbers have dramatically decreased at the hands of humans.
It has now been a week since the turtle has been taken in, and Hannes van Wyk, Peace Parks Foundation aviation manager and chief pilot, takes us with him to get an update on the turtle’s progress.