A stranded sea turtle that was rescued and rehabilitated at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium is embarking on her epic trip back to the wild – with the help of the Irish Navy.
The loggerhead turtle, who was nicknamed Tallulah by aquarists at the Towan Promenade aquarium, was discovered on Gwithian Beach near Hayle at the beginning of January, with a large number of goose barnacles attached to her shell.
Initially there were fears the turtle was so unwell she would be unlikely to survive, however, following intensive care and treatment from aquarists, she has made a full recovery and is now fit and healthy enough to be returned to the wild.
Tallulah began her mammoth journey with a 150-mile drive in a British Divers Marine Life Rescue vehicle to Bristol before being taken on to Fishguard in Wales at the weekend.
From there she sailed by ferry to Rosslare where she was picked up and driven across Ireland to join up with another rescued turtle at Dingle Oceanworld in County Kerry.
The next stage of the journey, which is due to take place this week, will see the pair being loaded on to an Irish Navy vessel in Cork for a 2,000-mile sea journey south towards Gibraltar.
Once there sea temperatures and currents will be checked and, once they get the final go ahead, the turtles will be carefully released back into the wild.
Blue Reef’s curator, Steve Matchett, said: “Tallulah’s rescue and recovery has already been little short of a miracle.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff here and everyone else who has worked so hard to firstly save her life and then painstakingly nurse her back to health.
“Now she is on the final stage of her journey back to the wild we all wish her the very best of luck and hope, one day, she will return to the beaches she was hatched on to lay her own eggs,” he added.
• For the latest updates on Tallulah’s epic journey visit www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk/newquay or find us on Facebook.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews etc please contact Steve Matchett on 01637 878134.