Lucky Loggerhead Sea Turtle to be Alive – South Coast Herald
A lucky loggerhead turtle lives to see another day after being rescued from the jaws of a tiger shark by Mokarran Dive Charters owner Clive Smith last Saturday.
Smith was at sea in Aliwal Shoal taking a family on a boat ride and snorkelling excursion when he noticed a whirlpool on the water’s surface. At first he thought they were big fish chasing tuna.
After seeing more action in the water and upon closer inspection, he realized it was a shark chasing a turtle.
The turtle’s front two fins were bitten and it began to struggle to swim.
With the help of everyone on board, Smith was able to save the turtle and bring it to the boat. He then called his wife Michelle, explained what had happened and asked for help.
She was able to contact the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) animal rescue team in Ushaka.
Once the turtle arrived at the facility, it was assessed by a resident SAAMBR veterinarian and given the name Jina which, according to Ann Kunz, SAAMBR spokesperson, is a name given to Conquerors and to the winners.
“Fortunately, she was not bleeding profusely and appeared to be in good condition apart from the injuries to her fins,” Kunz said.
“She received pain relief and let her rest in a shallow pool.”
The turtle rehabilitation team will monitor Jina closely over the next few days and administer pain medication if needed.
“She also takes the time to rest and recover from the initial trauma,” Kunz added.
The Smiths were happy to hear that Jina is recovering well and will monitor her progress.
Jina currently only has a third of her left fin and two-thirds of her right fin, but the rehabilitation team said she is still able to navigate the water and come to the surface to breathe.
Senior aquarist Malini Pather mentioned that the team will take one step at a time each day until Jina’s condition appears more stable.
“We certainly hope that she will be victorious and we are doing everything in our power to help her recover.”
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