Loggerhead turtle released after rescue
An endangered Loggerhead turtle was released after being rescued and nursed by local environmental officials.
The turtle was discovered by Customs officers during a routine patrol of the British Gibraltar territorial waters.
It was struggling to dive and ran the risk of being hit by a vessel in the busy bay.
The Department of the Environment’s Environmental Protection and Research Unit was called and lifted the turtle into its vessel, allowing it to rest and regain strength.
“After assessing the turtle in line with established protocols, we decided to release,” said Stephen Warr, senior environment officer at the department.
“It was getting stronger by the minute.”
The turtle was filmed by environmental officials swimming off into the sea off Europa Point.
— Gib Marine Reserve (@GibMarine) April 17, 2017
Loggerhead turtles are relatively common to Gibraltar waters particularly during the summer, when they are regularly sighted during migration.
Last year alone, the Environmental Protection and Research Unit spotted over 20 Loggerhead turtles in British waters here.
But the Loggerheads are also at risk in an area busy with shipping and marine activity, as well as from pollution from plastic bags.
Earlier this year two dead turtles were found on Eastern beach and Catalan Bay.
Loggerhead turtles migrate across the globe and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that there are only 60,000 nesting females worldwide.