Pregnant sea turtle rescued, returned to sea
(The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - In the morning of Dec. 2, Rock Paradeza, a resident fisherman of Barangay Macarang in Palauig, Zambales, discovered that an injured sea turtle had been trapped in his fishnet. The turtle had many bruises and had probably been struggling all night to escape from his net.

Alarmed, Paradeza swiftly turned over the rescued sea turtle to Nicholas Guiua of the Provincial Agricultural Department who provided the animal temporary shelter in Barangay San Juan.

Meantime, the crew of GMA 7’s Born to be Wild was nearby shooting their Christmas episode and was sent word that an injured sea turtle had been rescued and in need of medical attention. The team immediately went to see the animal, which they identified as an endangered olive ridley sea turtle.

Seeing that the sea turtle suffered from edema, especially in her neck area, program host Dr. Nielsen Donato strongly recommended taking the weak animal to the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at Ocean Adventure, the only facility of its kind in the country, where resident experts could provide the best care possible. 

Once at the Rescue Center, head veterinarian Dr. Leo Suarez did a thorough examination and treated her wounds. The turtle could not dive properly and would not eat the food offered. Dr. Suarez suspected that she may be pregnant so he arranged for an x-ray the following day.

Early the next morning, however, even before tests could be administered, the doctor’s suspicion was confirmed after the aquarist on duty found a few eggs inside the turtle’s temporary shelter.

This called for an emergency release as a pregnant sea turtle, if not able to get to a sand beach, dig a nest and lay her eggs, risked being “egg bound” – or having her eggs trapped in her body, which is a life-threatening condition.

Shortly after, a team was immediately mobilized so the turtle could be gently transported to the protected beach at Camayan Beach Resort right next to Ocean Adventure. By then, her condition had improved as she responded well to treatment.

The Born to be Wild crew was around to film her release, which the show aired in its episode yesterday.

After one final check by Dr. Suarez, the team finally successfully released the turtle back to the sea where she can choose just the right beachplace where she belongs. She is back in the arms of nature to lay her 100-plus eggs.

 

BARANGAY MACARANG BARANGAY SAN JUAN CAMAYAN BEACH RESORT DR. LEO SUAREZ DR. NIELSEN DONATO DR. SUAREZ NICHOLAS GUIUA OF THE PROVINCIAL AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT OCEAN ADVENTURE RESCUE CENTER SEA TURTLE
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