Rare Turtles Return To Sea After Treatment In Tenerife

This is the moment two endangered turtles are released into the sea after recovering at a wildlife centre in Tenerife.

The pair of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), categorised as ‘endangered’ by the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), were treated by the La Tahonilla Wildlife Recovery Centre in Tenerife, the largest of the Spanish Canary Islands.

According to local media, the marine reptiles were returned to the sea on 16th June after spending two weeks at the centre.

One turtle was rescued after becoming stranded in the south of the island while the other was caught up in fishing nets.

The turtles were first kept in water tanks for evaluation before being moved to large pools where their mobility was checked.

When experts determined that the turtles were fit to return to their natural habitat, they organised their release at a beach near the island’s capital Santa Cruz.

These two turtles are not the only ones to have recovered at the centre this year.

Speaking about some of the other cases, veterinarian Irene Gonzalez said: “When plastics are found on their fins, it can cause tissue damage. So far this year, we have had to amputate the fins of six turtles.”

Experts also have to “make sure the turtles’ entire gastrointestinal system is restored” if they have started to defecate plastic, as is the case with other turtles this year, according to Gonzalez.

In 2019, the centre rescued 181 turtles and 122 were released back into the wild.

So far this year, the centre has treated 36 turtles, many of them found tangled up in fishing equipment.