In this facility, the sea turtles are getting ready for their release back into the sea.
These turtles have a heroic tale of survival to tell: injured and/or sick, they were rescued from the Balearic Sea and taken to the Palma Aquarium Foundation Recovery Centre to be cured.
Did you know that sea turtles face grave dangers in the sea?
The sea turtles that live in the waters around the Balearic Islands face a number of grave dangers. These include getting caught up in ghost nets, collisions with vessels, accidental fishing, the ingestion of marine waste and climate change.
Ghost nets. Do you know what they are?
Ghost fishing is the term used to describe fishing gear that has been lost or discarded at sea. It is generally associated with non-regulated illegal fishing practices and normally includes poor quality fishing gear made from non-biodegradable plastics.
In the case of the Balearic Islands, the vast majority of sea turtles become entangled in highly rudimentary GHOST FADS (fish aggregating devices) consisting of plastic bottles tied with rope or nets.
These artefacts tend to drift for long periods of time and are a source of food for turtles as they contain a high concentration of fish. The turtles’ interaction with this artifact is potentially extremely dangerous when they become entangled.
As a result, the sea turtles can suffer minor injuries or, in the most severe cases, the amputation of one of their flippers. If you spot a sea turtle with a missing limb in our facilities, you’re in luck! You’re looking at a true survivor!
What to do if you discover a living sea turtle in difficulties
1. The first and most important thing is to call the emergency services on 112; our experts will then get in touch with you.
2. NEVER attempt to remove the nets, or stretch the ropes or fishing net yarn, as you could seriously injure the animal.
3. Place a wet towel over the turtle, taking care not to cover the head or the tail.
4. Put the turtle in a quiet place in the shade, making sure it is not disturbed.
What happens to the sea turtles that are admitted to the Recovery Centre?
All the sea turtles receive care and treatment from our vets until they are fully recovered. La Vileta Clinic and the International Zoo Veterinary Group (IZVG) work with the Palma Aquarium Foundation to provide our patients with the very best treatment.
What happens once the treatment is finished?
Once they have recovered, all the sea turtles are released back into the sea.