DURBAN - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Mpenjati Conservancy rescued a sea turtle that appeared to be injured on Umkhobi Beach, Kent Bay, on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
NSRI Port Edward station commander Gert du Plessis on Tuesday afternoon said the NSRI Port Edward and Mpenjati Conservancy were alerted by bystanders to a sea turtle appearing to be injured.
He said Christopher Kortenhoeven, from Pretoria, had come across the turtle on the beach, and he raised the alarm, reporting that it was opening and closing its eyes but appeared unable to make any further movements.
“NSRI crew, in our sea rescue vehicle, responded to investigate and joined a Mpenjati Conservancy member on the scene,” du Plessis said.
He said the green turtle was local to the area and was found barely alive on the beach.
He also said uShaka Marine World was alerted, and they agreed to send a member towards Port Edward by road.
“A trauma board and blankets were used to gently transport the turtle off the beach, and the turtle was loaded into our sea rescue vehicle,” du Plessis said.
He said they met with the uShaka Marine World member halfway between Durban and Port Edward at the Hibberdene off-ramp, and the turtle was taken into their care.
“uShaka Marine World has confirmed that after rehydration and nutrients fed through intravenous therapy and rewarming, the turtle, named Donatello, is on the road to recovery and that while a beach release into a protected area would be most likely, it is too early to say when the turtle may be released,” du Plessis said.
Three weeks ago, Mobi-Claw 911 had posted on its Facebook page that their client had found a turtle that had been stranded on the beach on the KZN north coast.
Incident managers at their MC911 Cyber Control™ got on the phone to a number of different wildlife agencies to assist.
The NSRI responded and were outstanding. They suspected the turtle may have been attacked by a shark. They attended to the turtle before transporting it to uShaka Marine World for further care.