Three turtles released at Hondoq Bay in Gozo by NTM
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This morning crowds of well-wishers were on the beautiful beach of Hondoq ir Rummien in Gozo, to witness the release of three turtles, Moon, Robin and Tiny Tim by Nature Trust (Malta). This was the first time that a turtle release had been undertaken from the Island of Gozo.
Robin had been in rehabilitation the longest after he was found with a fishing line wrapped around his front flipper. The line cut deep into Robin’s flesh and exposed the bone. After months of therapy and medical care the flipper healed and the swelling subsided.
Tiny Tim was the smallest turtle to be kept in rehabilitation and together with Moon were rescued by Birdlife Malta volunteers. The two turtles were in for a short stay because they were not diving and feeding due to plastic swallowed.
The turtles had been in rehabilitation over the past few months at at Nature Trust’s San Lucjan. Within a week there have two release events bringing the total of released turtles in 2013 to six.
Vincent Attard, the Nature Trust Malta Executive President, gave thanks to the the Armed Forces of Malta – Marine Squadron MQR who transported the three turtles over Gozo, to prevent a long distance travel and to prevent them becoming distressed.
Attard, thanked his committed and energetic team of trained volunteers who make up the Wildlife Rescue Team, they are called out to rescue protected wildlife, which include hedgehogs, bats and reptiles. “Thanks also go to Save Hondoq Front for helping in the logistics at Hondoq Bay together with Qala Local Council and HSBC Staff Volunteers who helped in the release event.”
Nature Trust (Malta) also thanked the Malta Aquaculture Research Centre, The Environment Directorate of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, Veterinary Surgeon Anthony Grupetta and the turtle adopters who contribute towards raising funds for the medical expenses and for the building of the Wildlife Rehab Centre at Xrobb l-Ghagin, which will have a capacity of 30 tanks, an operating theatre, an Intensive Care Unit and an interactive education room.
The NGO appeals to the public to report any injured turtles or other local wildlife if noted to either the Nature Trust (Malta)’s Wildlife Rescue Section on 9942 2085 and 99422086 or call MEPA on Emergency Number 99210404.
People wishing to help with donations for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre project are asked to contact Nature Trust (Malta) on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographs by Zachary Engerer – NTM.