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Turtles released back into the ocean

Turtles released back into the ocean

Three turtles were released back into the ocean by staff of Durban’s uShaka Sea World on Thursday as part of the celebrations to commemorate National Marine Week.

The turtles – a Hawksbill (`Hawk’) and two Green turtles (`Canelloni’ & `Franki’) – were returned to the ocean at Sodwaana Bay on the Kwazulu-Natal north coast after spending time in the uShaka Sea World rehabilitation facility and turtle exhibit under the care of aquarists and the Animal Health team.

“Hawk was sent to us by staff at Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre in Plettenberg Bay after it was brought in to them by Cape Nature Conservation officials and Canellloni and Franki originated from Cape waters where they were rescued by staff of the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town and sent up to us‚” uShaka Sea World said.

“Canelloni‚ the larger of the green turtles‚ was tagged with an external flipper tag provided by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and this will allow possible sightings of this turtle by divers to be recorded.

“After receiving final health clearances from resident veterinarian Dr Francois Lampen‚ all three turtles were loaded into transportation crates and driven to Sodwana Bay for their return to the ocean‚” it added.

“Sodwana Bay was chosen as a release site because it is located within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park‚ a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and a World Heritage site.

« There are numerous inshore and offshore reefs in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park that are considered ideal release sites as they boast abundant foraging grounds with minimal human impact‚ which both Green and Hawksbill turtles are often encountered within the Park‚ and we are confident that they will thrive in their new surroundings‚” said Aquarium Curator Simon Chater.