After two months of recovery, a sea turtle named Bova was released into the sea from Borik beach in Mali Lošinj. At the beginning of June, our researchers found this loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) floating near the island of Vis. It was an adult female with carapace length of 70 cm and an estimated age between 17-21 years. Noticing the turtle’s carapace full of epibionts on the surface of the sea and realizing that the animal was unable to dive, they pulled it out of the sea and provided her first aid.

Sea turtle Bova when found

The next day, the transport of the turtle by car to the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Mali Lošinj was organized. She was received extremely exhausted with an open injury on the right side of the neck, which resulted in visible swelling. She was prescribed the therapy with regular wound treatment by our veterinarian Tina Belaj, Also, during the first few weeks of recovery, we noticed pieces of plastic that she gradually expelled from the body. Despite all of the above, Bova recovered successfully and very actively waited for her return to the sea.

Bova in the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre

In order to record the data on her further movement, before the release, Bova was marked with a GSM transmitter developed within the implementation of the Collective Actions for Improving the Conservation Status of EU Sea Turtle Populations project (LIFE EUROTURTLES). It is a newly developed device that uses the Snapshot GPS system to obtain location data. Once a turtle surfaces in an area covered by a GSM signal, GPS data is transmitted through the GSM network.

Marking Bova with a GSM transmitter

Moreover, everyone who gathered to see Bova’s release had the opportunity to get to know sea turtles through a mobile exhibition on biology, ecology, threats and conservation of sea turtles in the Mediterranean. The exhibition was developed as one of the activities of raising public awareness within the LIFE EUROTURTLES project.

Conservation of European Sea Turtles Exhibition

Beside the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union, the improvement of conditions for sea turtle recovery is co-financed by the project ” Improvement and Increase of Sea Turtle Rescue Centre Capacity”, funded from the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion of European Structural and Investment Funds (KK. 0004).