'Benidorm' is released back into the sea
'Benidorm', a turtle found last summer, is released into the sea off the shores of Benidorm
CBNews' Irena Bodnarec was one of those who saw off 'Benidorm', a turtle rescued in July which was returned to its natural habitat on Tuesday after recovering from its injuries
AFTER nine long months of care and rehabilitation, an injured sea turtle was finally well enough to be released back into the sea this week.
Sea turtles have been around for 110 million years, since the time of dinosaurs, but sadly they are now nearly all are classified as endangered! Unlike other turtles, they cannot retract their legs or head into their shells.
Last July a female turtle got caught up in discarded plastic and was found by a swimmer on the Levante beach, who alerted the lifeguards.
They called the Guarda Rural, who collected it and then took the injured creature to be treated at the ARCA del Mar (Area of Recovery and Conservation of Sea Animals) within the Oceanogràfic centre in Valencia, where professionals there specialise in sea turtle recovery and conservation.
The turtle underwent three separate operations on her injured flipper and received months of rehabilitation by the dedicated staff there.
During the recovery process she was carefully monitored and now, thanks to their determination and hard work, she was deemed well enough to be released back into the open waters… and what better place than where she was originally found – Benidorm.
She has even been named ‘Benidorm’ and also been chipped so that her movements can be monitored.
An estimated 12 million tons of plastic enter our seas worldwide every year, with devastating consequences, impacting on the waters and marine life within it.
No one really knows how long plastics will remain in the ocean but there are estimates that bottles can take up to 450 years – discarded bottles often get washed up into storm drains and end up in the sea.
It is therefore every person's moral obligation to ensure they dispose of plastic responsibly, or better still, try and reduce the amount they use and pressure manufacturers to switch to more environmentally-friendly packaging.
This turtle had a happy outcome. but sadly many others will not until we all change our habits.
CBNews' Irena Bodnarec (far right) on the launch taking 'Benidorm' out to sea