by firmm Team

Text: José Manuel Escobar Casado, photos: firmm

All of us who are dedicated to whale watching know that every day and every tour is different, but we are well aware that the dolphins and whales always take the limelight.

However, on Sunday 28th April we had the great surprise and at the same time the great joy of being able to observe the release of a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) into the open sea and enjoy the first flapping of its flippers in the wild.

Marine ecosystems are suffering a continuous deterioration due to global warming and pollution and obviously those who suffer the most are the species that live of them. Mammals, fish, flora... all of them fight for their survival daily and sometimes we find animals entangled, with plastics in their limbs or with infections. At that moment the great work of the foundations, associations and NGOs dedicated to the conservation and protection of the environment becomes a necessity.

The Centro de Estudios y Conservación de Animales Marinos de Ceuta (CECAM) together with the NGO Faunaverso took in a loggerhead sea turtle that needed help, the help of people who are passionate about the sea and the creatures that live in it. They gave her all the care she needed and when the turtle was ready, it was time to return her to her habitat, let her rejoin her companions, give her another chance to perpetuate her species and let life take its course.

Although the turtle was going to return to freedom, in reality we were the lucky ones, the foundation firmm, and the clients who were on the boat that day.

We received the request to participate in the turtle's release by taking a group of 45 people from the NGOs Faunaverso and Nautilus as passengers, led by their head, Diana Lacruz Ferrater, as well as the rest of our regular guests who visit us every day, and who were pleasantly surprised when they heard the happy news.

Once we arrived at the agreed coordinates, we were met by a small boat in which we discovered a beautiful loggerhead sea turtle, approximately 1 metre in size and weighing around 100 kg. Shet looked healthy and eager to return to the sea, as the constant flapping of her flippers indicated. We could make out the locator on her shell, which will be of great help in monitoring her migrations.
And after a brief presentation and a few seconds for us to take some photos, the tension was at its peak, everyone on the boat was silent, immersed in an atmosphere of peace and harmony with nature.

A moment later we could see how carefully the turtle was brought to the side of the boat, one of the persons who so lovingly cared for the animal placed a kiss on its shell and with a gentle gesture they let the turtle finally drop just a few centimetres above the water, as if they were not quite ready to let go of the animal yet. The turtle was so eager that it quickly sank and did not stop swimming until we could no longer see its shadow in the vast ocean.

The rest of the trip was obviously shaped by our beloved turtle: comments, showing photos to the colleagues, even among the passengers, impressions and feelings of satisfaction were shared. It pleases and enlarges us as persons to be able to participate in these events, we are and will be a foundation dedicated to the animals, their welfare, and their conservation.

Have a long life dear turtle, have a long life.

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