We run the only Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre on the East African seaboard. This is a fantastic facility and is also helping us research these incredible animals. The centre has 8 purpose built holding tanks, with 2 smaller tanks. We have acquired considerable knowledge and expertise in treating and caring for sick and injured turtles and are now able to care for up to 10 turtles at a time.
What are the most common problems?
- Fish hook injuries
- Spear-gun injuries
- Boating accident injuries
- Flipper amputations
Most of these turtles come to us through our By-catch Release Programme but we also receive turtles from other areas along the coast.
The centre also acts as a conservation education and awareness tool and the community, tourists and school children are encouraged to visit and learn about our work.
Over 300 turtles have passed through this facility since it was built in 2003. Approximately 70% of these have been successfully released and would most likely have died without treatment.
A Growing Concern – Fibropapillomatosis
What is Fibropapillomatosis?
In recent years we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of our turtle patients with Fibropapillomatosis. This is a disease thought to belong to the Herpes Virus family which causes turtles, particularly Green turtles, to develop large, highly contagious tumours.
External tumours create problems with ease of movement, sight and ability to eat. Internal tumours however, cause problems with the internal organs and functionality of body systems.
Once infected with this disease, the turtle’s immune system is extremely compromised and while they can survive for some time with these tumours, eventually the problems associated with them will cause premature death.
Fibropapillomatosis is still being researched all over the world and it is thought that the disease is predominantly transmitted via leeches.
So what causes Fibropapillomatosis?
At this point it is not 100% certain what causes this awful disease but turtles are very susceptible to biological and chemical contaminants linked to increased human activity. Observations strongly support the theory that fibropapillomatosis is linked to the pollution and contamination of sea grass beds, green turtle feeding grounds.
How can you help?
We always have new patients coming into our Rehabilitation Centre, all of them requiring specialist care. You can help us take care of these amazing animals by coming for an Eco Visit or holding a fundraiser for us!