Two adult sea turtles are receiving treatment in Larnaca after they were found injured in Limassol, with officials saying the prognosis was good for the resilient duo.
According to Melina Marcou, an official with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, two sea turtles of the Chelonia mydas species were found injured in Limassol in early August and transported to a rehabilitation facility in Meneou, Larnaca district.
Marcou told Knews that the two adult turtles, a male and a female, had trapped air in their lungs following what was believed to have been an incident common to the area, possibly involving fishing nets or some other equipment in the water.
'We have placed weights on their flippers,' Marcou said, noting this was essentially a buoyancy compensation mechanism to help the turtles swim straight
The official, who said there was no information about the circumstances surrounding their injuries, explained there was speculation that in many cases sea turtles get trapped in fishing nets underwater and cannot surface in time.
“We have placed weights on one of their flippers so they can swim straight,” Marcou said, noting that this type of injury causes turtles to struggle just to swim straight.
Marcou also said the weights, which were essentially a buoyancy compensation mechanism, could be used as paddles to help the turtles swim straight until the time they are ready to be released back in the ocean.
Green turtles can hold their breath under water for up to several hours, depending on species and temperature, while the lung function in Chelonian sea turtles also works as buoyancy regulation and oxygen consumption.
“They are resilient creatures and know better than us how to survive,” Marcou said, adding that staff at the Meneou facility was rooting for the two guests to recuperate soon and get back to nature.
The exact age was not immediately specified but Marcou said both turtles were adults, based on the size of their shells that reached about 70cm, while full adult size can go up to 100cm.