Three Cute Croatian Sea Turtles Returned to Sea Following Recovery

Lauren Simmonds

As Morski writes on the 16th of June, 2019, Rafael, Tilago and Žal are the names of the three sea turtles that the Sea Turtle Recovery Centre staff released back into the sea on Friday, June the 14th, 2019. They were returned to their natural habitat on the beach beside the the Verudica lighthouse on the Verudela peninsula in Pula, Istria.

After the release of the aforementioned sea turtles back into the wild, Pula Aquarium organised the opening of the new Sea of ​​sound (More zvukova) exhibition at the Verudela fortress. The exhibition is devoted to the various sounds produced by marine fauna and more. Since 2019 is marked as the International Year of Sound, this exhibition will accompany the theme with interesting interactive installations and fun educational material on the production of sound in the sea, as well as the noise pollution which interferes with the daily lives of many marine animals, RegionalExpress writes.

Žal is a sea turtle who arrived at the centre back in early May, where she was weighed, weighing 15kg, with a length of about 50cm. Her age was estimated at fifteen. She was found by some fishermen fishing at the southern end of Istria, who thought she might have been accidentally injured during the lifting of the net because she wasn’t moving very well. When she arrived at the centre, she floated around for a short time and didn’t want to eat independently. After just one week at the centre, she began to eat sardines and squid, after which she recovered very quickly.

Rafael is a smaller turtle who was at the centre for a while recovering from the amputation of his right front fin. He was found weak, injured and frightened stuck in an abandoned fishing net along the coast of the island of Korčula back in February 2018. He was transported to Split where a vet unfortunately had to amputate the damaged fin, and after a few days, he was brought to the Pula centre to recover from his ordeal. Rafael’s recovery was a long one, he was weak, weighed only 1kg and had a shell of 25cm in length, he was estimated to be only two years old. Today Rafael weighs 3kg, his shell is 30cm long and he has finally gained enough weight and is fit enough to lead an independent life back in the Adriatic sea.

Tilago is a sea turtle who was found by the staff of Telašćica Nature Park, he weighs 30kg and his shell is 60cm in length. His estimated age is 20. He was delivered to the centre way back in February 2017 where significant damage to his shell, as well as curvature of the spine were established. It is possible that a boat propellor accidentally caused extensive injuries whuch healed themselves, but unfortunately incorrectly filled the inside of his shell with air from his lungs. For this reason, it was much more difficult for Tilago to properly control his back fins and swim normally. Despite his woes, Tilago managed to regain his swiftness and proper movement by resting and spending his winter recovering at Pula Aquarium’s large and safe swimming pool, and he’s now ready to return to life at sea.

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