Lost turtle settles into new home
AN AFRICAN turtle who was found 15,000 miles off course on Anglesey, has been moved into her new surroundings.
‘Menai’, the first ever Olive Ridley turtle seen in the UK, was discovered last month on an Anglesey beach.
Experts, who used DNA techniques, have now established Menai to be around 40 years of age, and believe she originated from waters near the African state of Gabon, close to the equator.
Staff at Anglesey Sea Zoo have been looking after Menai since she arrived on November 12.
She was suffering from severe hypothermia and has been receiving intensive treatment with her condition much improved.
On Monday afternoon Menai, who measures 62cm in diameter, was finally moved from her intensive care station to a much larger 12,500 litre tank within the Sea Zoo itself, with the temperature kept at around 25 degrees centigrade to match conditions near her African home.
Her diet consits of oily fish, with plans in the New Year for her to undergo a CT scan to identify any underlying health issues she may have.
According to Frankie Hobro, the owner of the Sea Zoo, the aim is to send her back home to her own habitat.
“Menai has survived against all the odds, never has a Olive Ridley turtle been found in UK waters before. She’s around 15,000 miles from home and its been a distressing time for her.
“But as she’s now so active, we’re hoping this new environment will allow Menai to start diving and moving around more, and may help to resolve some of her buoyancy issues.
“It’s been five weeks or so and we wouldn’t really have expected her to still be alive, but she’s not only alive but feeding.
“She’s been getting quite frustrated over the last few days and she’s been ready to be moved. She’s looking relaxed now and exploring her new surroundings.”
A number of local companies have donated items to help Menai while a £10,000 fundraising target has been set to help pay for her ongoing care and travel back to a warmer climate.
This may involve a visit to a specialist rehab centre on the Canary Islands, although a final decision has not yet been made.
For more details on the crowdfunding campaign, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/menai-the-turtle
WARMER WATER FOR LOST ‘MENAI’
Staff at the Sea Zoo prepare Menai for her new home