Just days after the Hol Chan Marine Reserve was awarded almost $200,000 to continue its conservation work, the organization has been called to the aid of a loggerhead turtle. Â It seems as if the turtle had been attacked by a shark whilst at sea, and after a diving trip, individuals from the Tuff E Nuff tours rescued her and brought her ashore.
For many of those living in Belize, seeing sea turtles is not uncommon. Â In fact, many divers come to the country just to swim with these creatures. Â On Wednesday October 9th at around 9am, officials at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve were called in to aid the sea turtle whoÂd had her left hind flipper completely bitten off. Â In addition, she was suffering from several lacerations on other flippers and the belly of her shell was broken. Â Rushing the animal to the Saga Humane Society, specialists worked hard to stitch the wounds and prevent bleeding. Â Doctor Orlando Baptist also placed the turtle on a course of antibiotics as a way to prevent infections in the wounds.
Kirah Forman, one of Hol Chan Marine ReserveÂs biologists, said: ÂAssisting sea turtles in distress is an important part of what the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program is all about. Â It is exciting when we can do something for one of these awesome prehistoric animals who have, for centuries, managed to survive as a population. Â We are hopeful this turtle will be another success story, and will be able to swim off into the sea to continue making her contributions to the ecosystems.Â Â The team at the reserve is confident that it will be able to clean the loggerhead turtleÂs wounds and help ensure she survives to be returned to her natural habitat.
Seeing sea turtles can be a common experience for those living in Belize, and itÂs one of the reasons that so many travelers flock to the nation to dive in its rich seas. Â The marine life around the coast is extremely diverse and hosts an array of beautiful fish and aquatic species, all of which the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is working hard to protect. Â It seems that for this lucky female, her encounter with a shark will have a happy ending as she is nursed back to health and set free.