Back in January, a trio of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles washed up on Cornwall’s beaches but all are thriving.
The first, Jason, arrived on Perranporth beach on January 13.
The second, Gordon, was found on Perranporth beach shortly after.
The juveniles were brought to Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium by volunteers from the BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue).
The turtle found on Widemouth Bay is still being syringe fed regularly and being monitored by the team. This turtle is much weaker than the others and is undergoing further treatments as part of its rehabilitation and is slowly starting to gain weight. Aquarists have re-hydrated it by providing fluids several times a day, before progressing onto a liquidised fish diet.
The three loggerhead turtles are doing well in the care of the team at Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay. Aquarists are in the process of preparing the tank Jason is currently in with a divider, so that Gordon can be moved into the same tank so it has more room to swim safely.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s general manager Steve Matchett explained: “These turtles have arrived dehydrated and starving, so are very weak when they get washed up on our UK beaches. Of the three we are working on at present, two seem to be strong candidates for a release back into the wild based on their good progress, but the smallest one is still not at the stage we hoped it would be by now. It will take some more time to see if it is going to make it, but it has recently started to show some positive signs.”
The health and well being of the turtles is the priority, so the team at Blue Reef Aquarium want to highlight that these turtles will not be visible to visitors, and will be kept in the site’s quarantine until they are ready to be released.
Lara Heaney, the aquarium’s assistant curator, said: “We get lots of enquiries about their progress and asked when they will be on public view, but these are sick animals that are under treatment, so we won’t be putting them on display. However visitors can always come and see our resident rescue turtle Omiros at the aquarium or our group of terrapins to get their turtle fix.”
Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay are hosting a Totally Turtle Easter Half Term to raise awareness for turtles, as well as share the story of Omiros.
It is very important that any turtles washed up are not put back into the sea, as they will die as UK waters are too cold.
What to do if you find a stranded turtle?:
l Do not attempt to put the turtle back into the sea
l Wrap in a towel soaked in seawater, don’t cover nostrils
l Place in a secure place on its belly and do not attempt to warm the animal up, keep it at the same temperature you found it
l If inactive, raise the back end of the shell so the turtle is resting at approximately 30° to drain lungs
l Contact the British Divers Marine Life Rescue 24hr hotline on 01825 765546
*These rules do not apply to leatherback turtles which can be carefully re-floated if uninjured. Check with an expert first.