'Benidorm' is re­leased back into the sea

'Benidorm', a tur­tle found last sum­mer, is re­leased into the sea off the shores of Benidorm

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Irena Bodnarec ibodnarec@cb­news.es

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

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