70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Turtle release days are always the best kind of days, especially when releasing a turtle that we thought had almost no chance of survival. Today the SAAMBR team celebrated the recoveries of Odin and Duke, two sub-adult Green turtles who were admitted to the Sea Turtle Hospital at uShaka Sea World last year, with their releases on the KZN North Coast.

Odin was found by a caring fisherman near the Bluff in October last year. The turtle was in a critical condition. He was very lethargic and completely emaciated and dehydrated and the team was worried about his chances of survival. However, after a good clean and some supportive care, including 8 weeks of tube feeding and medication, he started to feed by himself which was a good indication that he was on the mend. After 6 months of rehabilitation and recovery, gaining a full 10kg, he was cleared for release by our clinical veterinarian.

“Odin is one of our most remarkable turtle rehabilitation stories as his journey from the brink of death, to passing his pre-release health checks was tough but absolutely incredible. Odin was the hospital sweetheart and managed to charm everyone with his dogmatic resilience.  I am overjoyed and really can’t believe that his release day has arrived” said Malini Pather, uShaka Sea World Lead Aquarist – Quarantine & Sea Turtle Rehabilitation.

Odin was fitted with an acoustic tag so that his journey onwards can be followed. He also has been flippered tagged and we hope that divers will spot this charmer as he continues to explore the KZN coastline.

“At SAAMBR we have been so fortunate to have been involved in turtle monitoring and research for the past 60 years, and through our Turtle Tagging and Telemetry research project, we continue not only learning about the post-release movements of these astonishing survivors, but we also contribute to a large national and international data set on the oceanic movement of wild and rehabilitated sea turtles” said Executive Manager, Maryke Musson. 

Duke, also a sub-adult Green turtle, was found floating upside down in a pool of water on Garvies beach in December 2021. On arrival at the Sea Turtle Hospital, Duke was also quite emaciated, lethargic and positively buoyant. Initial diagnostics indicated that he was suffering from an internal infection of the gut. He received the right treatment and started eating within 3 days which is always a good sign. Duke gained a solid 6kg while under our care and was deemed fit for release following his health examination. What a little champ.

Thank you to all the rescuers, transporters and supporters. Another two endangered sea turtles right back where they belong.