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100 Hawksbill turtles released to celebrate Earth Day

29 April, 2011 - 23:23

In front of a crowd of hundreds of onlookers in Dubai, 100 endangered hawksbill turtles were released back into the wild on Friday, April 22 to celebrate Earth Day.

The sea turtles were rehabilitated by the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP), which is a collaboration between the Wildlife Protection Office and the Burj Al Arab aquarium. It is also Dubai’s only turtle rehabilitation project.

The turtles were placed on the sand by 100 lucky children – some of whom had won a competition via Facebook and some hotel guests – and flipped their way back to their homes in the sea.

The animals come to the centre with different problems, including injuries related to becoming entangled in fishing line; positive buoyancy, meaning they can’t dive down underwater; barnacle encrustation; and exhaustion, according to Warren Baverstock, Aquarium Operations Manager, Burj Al Arab.

Earth day is celebrated on April 22 each year, to encourage companies around the world to remember and appreciate the earth’s natural environment.

Launched in 1970, it is now celebrated in more than 175 countries worldwide and was designated International Mother Earth Day by the UN in 2009.

Read more in Gulf News

Dubait Turtle Rehabilitation Project Facebook page

The turtles’ primary care is carried out at the Burj Al Arab and then they are moved to the two rehabilitation pens at the Mina
Each animal over 30cm long is tagged and every turtle is microchipped.
One hundred rehabilitated hawksbill sea turtles released back into the sea make their way to their natural habitat.
Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project