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Caretta caretta sea turtle wounded

January 5, 2013
Caretta caretta sea turtle

Yesterday I got a phone call from an unknown number. Yiorgos, the caller, told me he had found a wounded caretta caretta turtle in Acharavi and didn’t know what to do with her. These sea turtles are an endangered species and many efforts are being done in Greece to help them survive. Anyway, Yiorgos had contacted the police and coastguard, as well as several nature protection agencies he found online, but nobody seemed to want to take on responsibility for the animal and he was getting kind of desperate. A local doctor had given him my number just in case I could help.

Wounded caretta carettaFortunately, a friend of mine is a veterinarian specialised in reptiles and when I called him he told me to bring the turtle over. I picked up the turtle from Yiorgos and his wife, who had taken good care of her by keeping her moist, and drove to Corfu town. Once we were there, the turtle was weighed at 26.6 kilos, she got hydrated and got an antibiotics shot and we eventually managed to contact a doctor from Archelon, a society dedicated to protecting and healing sea turtles.In the meantime, the doctor confirmed the turtle was a she and we nicknamed her Nitsa. Chelona means turtle in Greek, Chelonitsa means little turtle and Nitsa is a girl’s name. She is around 15-20 years old, which is quite young for a turtle.

Wounded sea turtleThe wounds on her head were probably caused by a ship’s propeller and are quite deep. We took care of her as well as we could and today she is leaving for Athens where the people of Archelon will take further care of her. Hopefully she will survive and will be able to swim in our seas again….

Nitsa, get well soon!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue Tsirigoti permalink
    January 5, 2013 5:51 pm

    Bravo!! I live in Acharavi and did not hear about this, I have sometimes seen dead turtles on the beach but am VERY pleased Nitsa is being treated and and hopefully will be ok?

  2. January 5, 2013 8:54 pm

    When Yiorgos found her she was floating upside down and the doctor from Archelon said she would have drowned if she had stayed in the water much longer. I also hope she’ll make it even though those wounds look really nasty…

    • Sue Tsirigoti permalink
      January 5, 2013 8:57 pm

      Oh thats doesnt sound so good, lets hope for a good outcome. Come on Nitsa Try hard!

  3. January 6, 2013 10:39 am

    Thank you for helping out my children… said Pacha Mama and smiled

  4. January 6, 2013 4:35 pm

    hope she doing well

  5. Lisa michalaki permalink
    January 7, 2013 10:38 am

    Wow! It stories like this that make you realise…a bit of good nature doesnt cost a thing but to save an animal like this will be a lasting memory for Yiorgos.

    • Sue Tsirigoti permalink
      January 7, 2013 11:05 am

      Any news on her progress? I wish Yiorgos would make himself known so we can pat him on the back!

  6. Sue Tsirigoti permalink
    January 15, 2013 8:57 am

    Can we find out if she survived?

    • January 15, 2013 12:09 pm

      I just called Archelon in Athens. Nitsa is stabilised and she is doing well! She is being treated with antibiotics and they will try to get her skull to heal naturally. They will keep her there at least until the summer. If all goes well she may return to the sea when the water is warm enough.

      • Sue Tsirigoti permalink
        January 19, 2013 9:17 pm

        WHOO hOO, Thats GREAT news if shes survived so far her chances must be good now?

      • January 19, 2013 9:45 pm

        Hi Sue!

        I think it’s safe to say she’ll survive. The difficult thing to say is how long she’ll have to stay at Archelon. The cut in her skull was more than a centimeter wide and that will have to heal using some method they have to let her skull bones regrow naturally. It might take a couple of years but I bet she’ll swim in the seas again!

      • Sue Tsirigoti permalink
        January 19, 2013 10:37 pm

        I am happy to hear that!

      • Billi Rosen permalink
        January 20, 2013 12:11 am

        Heartwarming to hear that in spite of their own conciderable problems, when it matters Greeks will go out of their way to do the right thing.
        The kindness of people indeed.
        Roll on summer.

        Billi Rosen

      • January 20, 2013 4:08 pm

        Hi Billi!

        Thanks for your good words.
        I believe that one of the good consequences of this crisis is that people will start realising what’s really important in life. And that’s certainly not a big car and a 400€ iPad…..

      • Sue Tsirigoti permalink
        February 18, 2013 2:16 pm

        Could we have an update on Nitsa?

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