THE JUNTA has returned a loggerhead turtle back into the sea.

The young turtle, named Velez, was rescued two months ago, on May 10 in Vélez-Málaga, weak and malnourished, weighing just 14.9 kilos (Adults weigh between 70 to 170 kg).

Within two months, and thanks to the care received at the Marine Environment Management Centre in Algeciras (Cadiz), the turtle gained two more kilos and was ready to go back into the wild.

The release that took place yesterday, July 17, was the tenth of this specimen to be released into the wild by the Junta this year, 2023.

This return is part of the emergency programme to deal with strandings of marine mammals, turtles and sea creatures in distress in Andalucia, and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year along the entire Andalucian coast.

During 2023, 14 turtles have been admitted into this programme and cared for at the Marine Environment Management Centre in Algeciras, including two from the coast of Malaga (one of them died of pneumonia), six from the SOS Caretta project (Sanlúcar de Barrameda), two stranded on the coast of Cadiz and one more that appeared entangled in a trap off Tarifa (Cadiz).

Ocean experts have called for members of the public to be aware of any nesting sites along the coast, citing a recent case in Marbella, where a man who was walking his dog observed the turtle when it reached the sand to nest and called 112.

Experts ask anyone who notices a wild animal out of its natural habitat, not to touch or disturb the animal, rather call the emergency services number.


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