Steph the Loggerhead Turtle rescued from Xghajra today – NTM
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The Armed Forces of Malta assisted in the rescue of a loggerhead turtle earlier this afternoon in Xghajra.
Following a call to the Nature Trust Malta Wildlife Rescue Line by a member of the public, the turtle was brought in by the AFM and handed over to Nature Trust – FEE Malta volunteers, who have called her Steph after her rescuer – Stephanie Sant.
NT-FEE Malta thanked the AFM for their efforts to carry out this rescue, which NTM said was in very difficult conditions, involving rough seas and strong winds. They also thanked the Environment and Resources Authority and the member of the public who called the rescue line.
The NGO added that it is pleased that the correct procedure in the rescue of turtles was followed, “as although the turtle was found entangled in marine debris, some of it also ingested, this was not pulled or cut by the persons who alerted the wildlife rescue team.”
It explained that when lines are pulled, the hook may cause tears and lacerations in important organs that may cause the turtle to suffer a painful death while cutting of tight entanglements on or around the head and flipper may cause bleeding or cause blood clots to move internally.
NTM said that the turtle has been operated on by veterinary surgeon Dr Anthony Gruppetta using specific equipment for such instances.
Loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta are species listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and suffer tremendously as a result of irresponsible dumping and littering at sea.
The Nature Trust Malta Wildlife Rescue Line can be contacted on 99999505.