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The rescued turtle. R. I.
Beachgoers rush to the rescue of trapped loggerhead sea turtle in Spain
Nature

Beachgoers rush to the rescue of trapped loggerhead sea turtle in Spain

Equinac, an organisation dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded animals and sea life, has advised what to do in the case of finding stranded specimens of the vulnerable turtles

David Roth

Almeria

Wednesday, 10 July 2024, 22:26

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Equinac, an organisation dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded animals and sea life, along with a number of concerned members of the public were able to save the life of a young loggerhead sea turtle on Villaricos beach in Almeria province on Sunday 7 July.

One of the turtle's flippers had become entangled in a piece of rope and the animal was trapped between two pieces of wood. Equinac posted the rescue on its Facebook account with a statement explaining how the situation happened and added that it had a happy ending for the turtle.

The Junta de Andalucía's emergency 112 phone operators received a call from Caleb, who reported that he had spotted a turtle with a front flipper entangled in rope, which was showing signs of necrosis, and it was trapped between two pieces of wood.

On arrival Equinac professionals found the little loggerhead turtle in a bad state, but thanks to advice given to Caleb and other people on the beach at the time by Equinac, they had kept the animal damp with a towel and kept it in the shade.

This was crucial to stabilise the turtle while specialised help arrived. An environmental officer took the animal to a nearby veterinary clinic where it received life-saving medical help.

Equinac thanked the beachgoers and in particular Caleb for his emergency call, and the volunteers (Clare and Jay) for their assistance. TIt also highlighted the help of the lifeguard, Juan Pedro, from Cooperación 2005, S.L., whose collaboration was vital until the arrival of the rescue team.

The organisation is still investigating the nature of the device that trapped the turtle, which could have caused complete flipper amputation, septicaemia and ultimately the turtle's inability to submerge and feed.

This rescue underlines the importance of citizen collaboration and the quick response of rescue organisations to protect sea life on Andalucía's coasts. Thanks to the efforts of Equinac and the local community, the young loggerhead sea turtle has been given the chance to recover and eventually return to its natural habitat.

The loggerhead turtle is included in the Andalusian Catalogue of Threatened Species (Decree 23/2012) as 'vulnerable'. Equinac warns that in the case of finding stranded turtles, it is advisable not to reintroduce them into the sea and instead immediately call 112 or 062.

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