Turtles, Popeye and Catherine released today from Gnejna Bay

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Turtles, Popeye and Catherine released today from Gnejna BayIt was a great day for two loggerhead turtles – Popeye and Catherine – who were released this morning from Gnejna Bay by Nature Trust Malta following months of rehabilitation at Fort San Lucjan.

Popeye, is about five years old and was rescued close to Popeye Village, Mellieha on the 18th of March this year.

Popeye was found entangled in abandoned fishing debris and was also found to have a lung infection following the ingestion of plastic. After four months of rehabilitation, Popeye was ready to be released.

Catherine, was rescued 3km off the coast of Armier on the 21st of November last year. She was also found entangled in marine debris and in bits of plastic, however she also has an old, visible injury indicating a boat strike that somehow managed to heal itself, but left the poor turtle badly deformed.

NTM said that assessment of the turtle also showed a massive lung infection and undernourishment, now after eight months of care and rehabilitation, Catherine was ready to be released.

NT-FEE Malta appealed to the public to be responsible when disposing of waste to prevent ingestion and entanglement of wildlife in such waste.

“Loggerhead turtles have been on our planet for over 200 million years but are now an endangered species due to pollution, climate change and the loss of sandy beaches to development,” it said.

Photographs: Nature Trust Mata

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