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Wed 29 Nov 2017 05:33 PM

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Dubai rehab programme releases 13 sea turtles back into Arabian Gulf

Latest batch of rehabilitated animals are satellite tagged to monitor progress in the wild

Dubai rehab programme releases 13 sea turtles back into Arabian Gulf
Dubai-based Jumeirah Group has announced the release of 13 rehabilitated sea turtles into the Arabian Gulf next to Jumeirah Al Naseem.

Dubai-based Jumeirah Group has announced the release of 13 rehabilitated sea turtles into the Arabian Gulf next to Jumeirah Al Naseem.

The turtles released were from three species, the loggerhead, green and hawksbill sea turtle. Five of the turtles, named Aqua, Lucky, Spots, Oogie and Turtala, were fitted with satellite linked tags, sponsored by the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

The tags will enable the teams to collect vital data about their progress in the wild.

This release follows a collaborative programme which saw 10 of the released turtles from the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) reside at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo for a few months during the hot summer months.

This helped raise awareness of the regional plight of sea turtles and the threats they face. Four of these turtles were amputees, having lost a flipper due to entanglement in plastic.

Discarded plastic is currently one of the largest threats to sea turtles, and the DTRP is currently focusing their satellite tagging research on these amputees to make sure that they can survive successfully after such an injury and, integrate back into the wild.

Through the project, the DTRP team has satellite tagged over 55 sea turtles in the UAE.

The rehabilitated turtles were all rescued from the shores of the UAE and nursed back to health by the DTRP which is at the forefront of sea turtle rehabilitation protocols and veterinary procedures.

This latest release takes the total number of turtles treated and released to over 1,500 since the project began in 2004.

Warren Baverstock, Burj Al Arab’s aquarium operations manager, said: “We have rescued 290 turtles this year alone and are very proud to celebrate National Day by releasing 13 rehabilitated sea turtles back into their environment. We would like to thank everyone that has brought injured turtles to us so we were able to rehabilitate them.”

The DTRP is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Hospital and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory. The day-to-day running of the project and the animal husbandry is managed by Burj Al Arab’s dedicated aquarium team.

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