Severely injured turtle begins new life at Sea Life in Loch Lomond

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A badly injured turtle found entangled in a net and with a plastic bag around its neck has started new life at Loch Lomond.

April became the UK’s first Olive Ridley sea turtle when she arrived at Sea Life Loch Lomond last month.

On November 19, she embarked on a life-changing trip more than 5,000 miles from the Maldives by plane.

She moved from the Turtle Rehabilitation Center at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives in Landaa Giraavaru to her new eternal home in Balloch through the combined conservation efforts of the Sea Life Trust and Maldives-based environmental agencies, Reefscapers and Marine Savers.

When April was discovered in Raa Atoll – one of the 26 island groups that make up the Maldives – she was floating on the surface of the ocean tangled in a ghost net with a plastic bag around her neck.

April was already missing her right front fin due to the entanglement in the phantom net and her left front fin was injured by the rubbing of the plastic bag.

An x-ray later revealed that she was also suffering from a lung infection, with possible tears in her lungs.

A return to nature was deemed impossible for April, and the Flying Turtles project of Marine Savers, Sea Life and her official conservation charity, the Sea Life Trust, partnered with IAG Cargo to transport April to her new home. where she received a bagpipe welcome.

Kathryn Angel, Managing Director of Sea Life Loch Lomond, said: “We are delighted to welcome April to the Loch Lomond family, she has made a brilliant home.

“Having a turtle again in our establishment is a real pleasure. The work done by the Marine Savers team in the Maldives has been amazing and it is remarkable how well April has recovered.

“We are passionate about working with overseas teams to protect and rehabilitate injured and stranded sea creatures.

“We are very proud of the hard work and dedication of our team to ensure that the beautiful creatures of our waters are cared for and live happy and safe lives, and April is another example. We are delighted to introduce her to our guests once she is completely comfortable with her new surroundings.



April ends her trip to the Bonnie Banks.

Armando Kraenzlin, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Maldives in Landaa Giraavaru, said: “April and the other flying turtles represent our overall commitment to conservation at Four Seasons – our responsibility as residents of a UNESCO biosphere reserve is not what we are taking. slightly. We are delighted to partner with Sea Life to give them a second chance.

Presenter of the BBC, CBBC and Discovery Channel programs, marine environmentalists and extreme adventurer Andy Torbet, followed and documented April’s unique journey from the Maldives to his home country of Scotland.

He said: “I am delighted to be a part of this project which moves April, the first Olive Ridley turtle to reside in the UK, from the Maldives to Loch Lomond in Scotland.

“Olive Ridley turtles are not native to the UK, but Sea Life will mimic the environment April would naturally inhabit in the Maldives. The reason April became one of Marine Savers’ “flying turtles” is that her injuries, caused by plastic pollution, meant that if she were released into the wild, she would not survive because she did not have the buoyancy needed to dive for food.



April the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle in her new home at Sea Life Loch Lomond
Sea Life will imitate the environment April is used to in the Maldives.

“That’s why Sea Life has embarked on this massive effort to relocate April, which means she will be leading a healthy life in her new home away from home at Sea Life Loch Lomond. I can’t wait to see April thrive in her new home in Scotland and raise awareness of the plight of olive ridley turtles in the wild and the ongoing conservation efforts of the Sea Life Trust.

To visit April in her new home and watch the exclusive film of her trip, visit www.visitsealife.com/loch-lomond/

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