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Home » Headline (Archive) » 28 October 2010

South Africa: ‘Free Willy’ day for 19 turtles 28 Oct 2010

By Diane Macpherson

It has been a big day for 19 little Loggerhead turtles that have been given a new lease on life, literally! 

The marine reptiles - which hail from the waters of KZN, arrived from Cape Town last night.

They'd ended up being swept off course by strong sea currents, landing up in the cold Cape waters were they wouldn't be able to survive because of the icy temperatures.

They'd washed up on various beaches in May - and found by members of the public who took them to the Two Oceans Aquarium where they were nourished back to health.

Last night, the turtles arrived by plane in Durban, and they were taken out ten nautical miles out to sea off Durban by Sea World staff to be released this morning.

Sea World Aquarist Karin Fivaz says despite the choppy sea conditions, the release went very well.

"We put them in the water and they just dashed off. We saw them for a couple of seconds and they all took a bit of a shallow dive...We know they'll come up a bit later for air, and then start floating on the surface.

"It's always great because we had the opportunity to actually give these guys a second chance to go about their natural lives, so it really feels great to add 19 little turtles back to the natural population."

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UNEP © IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Secretariat, c/o UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific,
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Tel: + (662) 288 1471 ; Fax: + (662) 288 3041 / 288 1029; E-mail: IOSEA Secretariat
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