DUBAI Three endangered loggerhead turtles weighing 70kg to 120kg are being treated at the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) in the Burj Al Arab hotel after they were rescued from the Abu Dhabi-Dubai sea coast recently.
“These are some of the biggest loggerheads we have received at the centre,” said Warren Baverstock, operations manager at the Burj Al Arab aquarium. The biggest tips the scales at 120kg. Believed to be around 45 years old, the massive creature was unresponsive when a group of environmentalists stumbled upon it near Abu Dhabi shores.
“They presumed it was dead, but a standard eye reflex test confirmed otherwise. We immediately put it on a heavy dose of antibiotics and now it’s on the road to recovery,” said Baverstock.
Another loggerhead turtle which weighed 100kg was also rescued around the same time. “One of its flippers had suffered a deep cut, causing infection, but now it’s doing well,” he added.
DTRP, which operates in collaboration with the Wildlife Protection Office, Dubai Falcon Clinic and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, has released over 800 rescued turtles back into the sea since its inception in 2004. Currently it has 154 turtles under its care.
Kevin Hyland, who works at the Wildlife Protection Office, said the 25 turtles have been tagged. “The idea is to keep track of their movements. We receive the signals for about a year until the battery runs out. This gives us enough time to be assured of their well-being,” said Hyland.