Conservation Centre Returns Turtles to The Sea

A centre established 14 months ago in Kyrenia for the treatment of injured sea turtles has released 15 turtles back into the sea.

The Meritta Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is continuing the treatment of another 11 turtles. Five people including three volunteers serve at the centre treating the Loggerhead Turtle (Carreta Carreta) and the Green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Both species are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Turtles can drown when caught in fishing nets, they also swallow plastic objects, mistaking them for food. Equally sad is the fact that some of the turtles have shown evidence of head injuries caused by repeated blows.

The centre’s founder Hande Tibuk, said that environmental pollution also poses a danger to animals,

Usually fishermen find the injured turtles. They bring them to us. So far, we have had 26 patients. After they recover we return them to the sea. This makes us very happy. The injured turtle is a guest here for a while. The farewell scene is a bit sad, but there is the happiness of completing an important mission. Because their place is in the sea. That happiness is priceless”, she said.

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