May 5, 2016
A stranded sea turtle that was rescued and rehabilitated at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium has been released back in to the wild thanks to the Irish Navy.
Tallulah the loggerhead turtle was returned to the sea on Wednesday in the Atlantic Ocean by the crew of the Irish Naval Service vessel LÉ Róisín.
The release is the culmination of a four-month rescue programme which began when the juvenile turtle was discovered on Gwithian Beach near Hayle in January.
Blue Reef Aquarium curator, Steve Matchett, said: “This is the end of the rescue mission for Tallulah but we hope it’s just the start of a whole new life for her.
“When she was first brought in to us she was very close to death and we were not optimistic.
“However she proved to be a real fighter and, with round-the-clock care and attention, she gradually regained her strength.
“The next step in the process was to get her back into the wild as quickly as possible.
“We were in contact with Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in Ireland who were also looking after a stranded turtle and they persuaded the Irish Naval Service to take both of them on board one of their vessels heading for the Mediterranean,” he added.
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 Dingle before being picked up by the navy in Cork to begin her final voyage.
“The naval crew set sail at the weekend and waited until sea temperatures and currents were just right before using a rigid inflatable boat to release Tallulah back into the wild,” said Steve.
“Other loggerhead turtles had been spotted swimming close by so it was clearly a great spot to choose,” he added.
If all goes well Tallulah could now live for another 50 years or more and return to the beaches where she hatched out to lay eggs of her own.
• To watch a video of Tallulah’s release by the Irish Naval Service go to https://www.facebook.com/irishnavalservice/videos/1002030549879841/?autoplay_reason=all_page_organic_allowed&video_container_type=0&app_id=2392950137 .
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews etc please contact Steve Matchett on 01637 878134.