WHAT YOU CAN DO

Here are five tips from the DTRP to help you get in­volved in sav­ing UAE’s sea tur­tles the right way.

Friday - - Conservation -

1. You should never clean them your­self If you spot a sea tur­tle on the beach, and it’s cov­ered in bar­na­cles, do not try to take the bar­na­cles off on your own. Only pro­fes­sion­als know how to do it with­out in­jur­ing the tur­tle. ‘A lot of peo­ple see washed-up tur­tles with bar­na­cles on them and try to help by tak­ing a knife or screw­driver, and try­ing to ply them off. But that causes in­ter­nal bleed­ing, and we lose about 10 tur­tles every year be­cause of peo­ple do­ing that,’ says David. 2. You should never feed them Some­times, tur­tles washed up on the shore may have in­testi­nal prob­lems. Feed­ing them may make things worse. Also, be­ing rep­tiles, tur­tles can go for a long time with­out feed­ing. 3. You should never take them home OR throw them back in to the wa­ter Not only is tak­ing tur­tles home against UAE law, but it also en­dan­gers the tur­tle’s life. Giv­ing a sick and in­jured tur­tle proper care re­quires ex­pert at­ten­tion. Sea tur­tles are wild animals that should not be kept in cap­tiv­ity as they may sus­tain in­juries from small spa­ces. Throw­ing them back into the wa­ter while they’re sick or in­jured will de­lay their treat­ment.

The best thing to do is to take any found sea tur­tle to the drop-off point out­side Burj Al Arab. Con­tact the DTRP team on 04 301 7198 or via Face­book to let them know that you’re com­ing. 4. Keep them hy­drated If you find tur­tles on the beach and can take them to get proper treat­ment, you should place them in a con­tainer with just one cen­time­tre of clean sea­wa­ter to keep them hy­drated. Make sure the wa­ter isn’t too cold. 5. Don’t lit­ter – ever.

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