SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Philippine – A weak green sea turtle rescued in Antique is back in the care of the Pawikan Center here, a day after being released back into the sea.
“The green sea turtle was first rescued here in San Jose de Buenavista on September 2 and was released back into the sea 10 days later,” Madelyn Pagunsan, a San Jose de Buenavista Municipal Environment and Natural Resources official, said in an interview Thursday.
It was held at the Pawikan Center for ten days because it was feeble and had no appetite after being fed squid before being released back into the sea on September 12.
Locals in San Jose de Buenavista attempted to return it to the sea at first, but the turtle continued returning to the shoreline, probably to seek care after ingesting bits of plastic.
“However, we noticed microscopic pieces of plastic sack on its excrement that it could have consumed in the sea or somewhere else,” Pagunsan explained.
The rescued turtle was injected with multivitamins and nursed until it was strong enough to be released, with the help of the Antique Provincial Veterinary.
However, on September 13, just one day after its release, the turtle was spotted along the shore of Belison, some 15.8 kilometers from San Jose de Buenavista.
It was recovered again and was identified by a tag placed by the center for simple identification.
In a separate interview, City Environment and Natural Resources forester Kenny Marie Gicaraya stated that the turtle was X-rayed before being sent to the center.
“The turtle’s lungs were likewise clear on the X-ray,” she stated.
Gicaraya stated that the turtle, which is 28 inches long, would remain at the facility for the time being as they await instructions from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) central office on what to do with the animal.
The Pawikan Center in San Jose de Buenavista is the province’s only sea turtle referral center.
It was established using DENR financing but is handled by San Jose de Buenavista’s local government entity.