Spoiled turtle given free journey home

AN endangered turtle, carried all the way from the Canary Islands to the Irish beaches of Galway’s Connemara by Atlantic storms, has been flown to its Gran Canaria home by Ryanair.

The Irish Examiner reported that the Loggerhead turtle, known affectionately as Mara, was found in severe distress on Dolan’s Beach, in Roundstone, by local woman Linda Hederman.

She took the female reptile to Clifden’s Western Veterinary, where she was treated for hypothermia overnight, before being taken to Dingle Oceanworld to recuperate.

After a seven-week recovery, the hard-shelled turtle was flown home on the airline’s

early-morning flight, from Cork airport to Gran Canaria.

During the four-hour flight, Mara was coated in Vaseline to keep her hydrated, wrote the Examiner, and kept in an aerated box. The turtle was accompanied by two staff from Dingle Oceanworld, as well as vet Shónagh O’Sullivan, who volunteered to make the trip to ensure her good health.

The Loggerhead sea turtle is the world’s largest hard-shelled species. Fully-grown adults average about 350kg in weight, and some specimens have reached up to 450kg.

They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean, and need warm water to survive, which is what made Mara’s predicament so precarious.

The Loggerhead is considered an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, with the greatest threat to their survival being loss of nesting habitats to coastal development.

Mara, in poor health when found, put on about a kilo in weight under the care of Dingle Oceanworld, and she now weighs a healthy 3kg.

Before boarding her flight, she needed a health certificate and her own specially-issued passport to travel. Upon arriving in the Canaries, she was taken to the Gran Canaria Turtle Hospital for a check-up, before being released back into the water.


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Posted by on Nov 8 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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