Recently, at the invitation of my friend Marinko Babić, I attended a unique underwater photography event.
At the Verudela Lighthouse in Pula - Croatia, the release of sea turtles back into the wild was organized by the Pula Sea Turtle Recovery Center, which operates within the Pula Aquarium.
The program was of great interest with a large number of guests. There was a brief introduction to the work of the Sea Turtle Recovery Center, interesting details on species biology and novelties about the state of marine turtles in the Adriatic Sea. Following the presentation of the turtles, they gave a description of their injuries, the duration of their recovery and basic features, followed by the turtles being released into the sea.
Ten sea turtles were released in to the sea: Tina, Luce, Shiggy-Lola, Giovanni, Brankica, Marko-Beni, Patricija, Miro, Raslinka and Issa.
Seeing these wonderful creatures fully recovered was unbelievable. You could see the happiness and joy in their eyes.
Most of the turtles in the Center arrived due to cooling during cold and windy winters. Turtles that are not able to migrate to the south often get caught, helplessly
float and suffer from low temperatures and other dangers on the surface. This has a number of internal and external effects that can lead to the death of an individual. Fortunately, these gems were found and transferred safely to the Center, where, along with everyday care from the aquarium staff, they gradually warmed up and ultimately recovered.
In addition, the State Institute for Nature Protection has established a protocol for the detection of dead, diseased or injured protected marine animals (marine mammals, sea turtles and cartilage fish) and for monitoring the conditions of injured and deceased protected vertebrates.
Authorized veterinary surgeries along the coast - the Veterinary Faculty of Zagreb, the Croatian Veterinary Institute and the Association Pula Marine School - in
cooperation with Aquarium Pula, are responsible for the care and treatment of marine turtles, and there is also a number in Croatia for reporting injured or dead sea turtles - 112 - or a unique European emergency number.
MARJAN RADOVIC / MARES AMBASSADOR