Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Confiscated turtle recovering at Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre

KOTA KINABALU: A Green Sea Turtle which was confiscated from a fisherman in Papar, is now recovering at Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre.

The Wildlife Rescue Unit coordinated the transfer of the turtle to Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre’s Turtle Rescue Unit where it is being treated.

The 22.5-inch long, 7.7kg juvenile Chelonia Mydas, or Green Sea Turtle, named after the green color of the fat under its shell, was malnourished and covered in barnacles, suggesting it may have been encaged.

Gaya Island Resort’s marine biologist Scott Mayback said they are now collaborating with the Sabah Wildlife Department and Marine Research Foundation to guarantee the best monitoring and treatment for the turtle.

The Marine Centre will keep the turtle under observation and treatment for a month, and if healthy enough, it will eventually be released back into the wild from the resort’s private Tavajun Bay.

With a lifespan of up to 80 years in the wild, this turtle, estimated to seven to ten years old, could live a long life once nursed back to health.

The endangered turtle, identifiable by its single pair of prefrontal scales rather than two pairs as found on other sea turtles, is endemic to the island of Borneo.

The team members of Gaya Island Resort are now able to safeguard it and hopefully release it back into its natural habitat in the near future.