Follow Leona the Loggerhead turtle on-line

2nd Dec 2014

8 December 2014

The satellite tag is working and leona is still in waters off the beach she was released.  check out follow Leona on on http://www.celestialgreenventures.com/leona-loggerhead-turtle and https://twitter.com/LeonasLog

Nice video of the release on:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/video?vid=1.2029930

4 December 2014 UPDATE

Report from Rita Gately "Leona was released around 12.30 today (Local Time) from Melenara Beach in the middle of a media scrum along with visiting children, local politicians and with two little amputee turtles. The second Leona was in the waves she was gone like a rocket..wonderful sight !"

You can follow Leona on on http://www.celestialgreenventures.com/leona-loggerhead-turtle and https://twitter.com/LeonasLog
 

Following confirmation that the satellite tag placed on Leona yesterday is working and positions being received at Queens University , Belfast, Leona will be released today. The tag and satellite time is sponsored by Celestial Green Ventures who have set up a web page and twitter account http://www.celestialgreenventures.com/leona-loggerhead-turtle and https://twitter.com/LeonasLog. We will also provide regular updates of Leonas position on www.iwdg.ie

3 December 2014

Leona and the team arrived safely in Gran canaria last night. They were met by Pacual and his team who after a health check announced Leona as "perfecto" to return to sea. Today the satellite tag is being fitted and all going well Leona will be released tomorrow. There is a nice video of the arrival of Leona at Dublin airport on http://www.independent.ie/videos/irish-news/video-aer-lingus-flies-turtle-in-economy-class-seats-30792360.html

IWDG is covering the costs of accommodation and expenses for Rita and Joanna and we are starting a fundraising campaign to cover these costs and the costs of drugs and analysis of samples taken during her rehabilitation. You can donate to this very valuable cause here:

 

 

The tag and the satellite time is sponsored by Celestial Green Ventures who have set up a web page and twitter account http://www.celestialgreenventures.com/leona-loggerhead-turtle and https://twitter.com/LeonasLog. IWDG will post daily updates on its webpage once the turtle has been released and images of the preparation on its facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IrishWhaleandDolphinGroup

2 December 2014

Leona the loggerhead turtle is flying to Gran Canaria today (Tuesday) onboard an Aer Lingus direct flight from Dublin. There she will be met by Pascual Calabuig from the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre Vivero Forestal de Tafira and his collegue Nuria. Nuria will be attaching the satellite tag to Leona so we can track her movements on release. The Wildlife Computers SPOT satellite tag has been tested in Clare over the weekend and is working fine so fingers crossed the deployment will be successful. Nuria has plenty of experience attaching satellite tags to hard-shelled turtles so Leona is in good hands.

The tag and the satellite time is sponsored by Celestial Green Ventures who have set up a web page and twitter account http://www.celestialgreenventures.com/leona-loggerhead-turtle and https://twitter.com/LeonasLog. IWDG will post daily updates on its webpage once the turtle has been released and images of the preparation on its facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IrishWhaleandDolphinGroup

So plenty of opportunities to stay with this amazing story of one turtles stranding, rehabilitation and hopefully release. IWDG is particularly grateful to Matt, Noirin and all the staff at the Galway Atlantaquarium who have selflessly put so much work into rehabilitating this turtle and to Rita Gately from Galway County Council for her veterinary support. IWDG would also like to thank Aer Lingus for safe passage for Leona and to Rod Penrose for his full support and to Emmett Johnston and Jon Houghton of Queens University, Belfast for facilitating the satellite telemetry. Finally Lorna King, who found the turtle a little over a year ago, who would have thought it would lead to all this ….

 

26 November 2014

The IWDG are delighted to announce that Aer Lingus are flying Leona, the loggerhead turtle to Gran Canaria on Tuesday 2 December. It is just over one year since the turtle was found comatosed by Lorna King on the beach at Quilty, Co Clare. Through the fantastic efforts of the Galway Atlantiquarium and Galkway County council vet Rita Gately the turtle is now fully recovered and ready to return to the sea. A few weeks ago we were sruggling to find a way to Gran Canaria for Leonie having exhausted all traditional ways of transporting live animals. Following a call from IWDG and the assistance of Rod Penrose in Wales and Dublin Zoo, Aer Lingus have managed to find a way to transport Leona within the cabin. Rita and Joanna from the Galway Atlantiquarium are travelling with the turtle courtesy of Aer Lingus and returning on Saturday 6 December.

IWDG will cover the costs of accommodation and expenses for Rita and Joanna and we are starting a fundraising campaign to cover these costs and the costs of drugs and analysis of samples taken during her rehabilitation.

You can donate to this very valuable cause here:

 

Many thanks for everybody's help and support. We plan to put a satellite tag on Leona if all goes well to monitor her movements post-release.

 

11 November 2014

As you might be aware the IWDG recovered a live loggerhead turtle from the beach in Quilty, Co Clare last November 2013. She was recovered to the  Galway Atlantiquarium and has done really well and increased in weight from 11kg to over 20kg and all her lesions and carapace damage cleared up and is ready to be released.

Rita Gately from Galway County Council,  Galway Atlantiquarium and Dublin Zoo have all been trying to find a way of transporting her to the Canaries where a colleague Pascual will receive her, make sure she is ok and release her off one of the islands. Unfortunately we cannot find a way of flying her to the Canaries due to issues with transport of live animal, long overnights (15 hours) in the hold in Madrid with no access to her etc. etc. etc. Rod Penrose in Wales has been extremely helpful, but at this stage it seems impossible to fly her using commercial airlines.

So we are now looking for a private jet and are putting out an appeal (http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1111/658545-turtle/)

Does any member have any contact with a jet, or know how we'd go about sourcing one or perhaps have any other suggestion for transport to the Canaries?  We have all the import and export licenses for transport from Ireland to the Canaries in place.

Time is ticking for us and the experience has gone from a very positive one, with the knowledge that this turtle has been saved, into a more negative one as we struggle to release her into the wild for a second chance.

Simon Berrow

 

August 2014

It has been a while since we provided an update on the status of "Leon" the loggerhead turtle stranded alive at Quilty, Co Clare.  Leon is doing well. He (maybe she) has gained strength, is much more active and is now taking food, mainly crabs, itself.  It still has some buoyancy problems but these are getting less significant. The infection around its eyes has cleared up, though the infection on the carapace is still present, but not spreading.

The manager and staff at Galway Atlantiquarium have done an outstanding job at rehabilitating Leon. Local County Council vet, Rita Gately has spent considerable time checking and adminstrating veterinary support on a regular basis and consulting and reading about best practice for turtle rehabilitation. Both Rita and Kevin O'Hara, Manager of the Aquarium, are now discussing with IWDG what is the next phase regarding management of the turtle. It is hoped the public can soon get access to him as it is a fantastic opportunity to see a live loggerhead turtle.

Although still early days this is well on its way to becoming a success story and know questions such as where did the turtle originate from are coming to the fore. The Aquarium is always looking for live crabs to feed to Leon. He is taking herring and some other fish but live crabs (and lobster) are his preference and the wild weather has restricted access to crabs from local fishers. So if you are near the Galway area and can catch some crabs do please take down to the Aquarium.

 

29 November 2013

a lot has been happening this week with "Leon". The turtle still alive and quite active. it has had a number of sub-cutaneous injections of electrolyes and a drip to rehydrate. Blood has been taken for analysis and sample sare being sent to specialists in the UK. The massive infection in the body cavity is still a concern and infection is spreading on its carapace, both dorsally and ventrally.  We have rubbed anti-septics into the shell and sealed with water repellent gell. The turtle is now in seawater at around 20-22 degrees and eating occasionally, mainly sand-eels.  Plenty of advice being offered from turtle rehab centres all around the world so the turtle is in good hands.  thanks to Kevin o'Hara an dstaff at Galway Atlantiquarium and Rita Gately for their huge personal commitment.

Presently Galway Atlantiquarium are covering all csts associated with this attempted rehab but if they start to mount we may consider a Leon turtle fund to assist to ensure finances do not limit the care that can be provided.

22 November 2013

Turtle still alive this morning

21 November 2013

The turtle is now in Galway Atlantiquarium.  It has been thoroughly examined by Galway County Council vet Rita Gately. Fears it was severly dehydrated may be unfounded as it urinated during inspection and its skin is not "spongy", however its eyes are badly sunken and may be infected.

The goose barnacles on its anal scutes have been removed and it has been layered in vaseline to avoid any further fluid loss.  It is sitting in a shallow bath of water at 13 degrees (2-3 degress higher than the sea temperature). We will now slowly increase water temperature and depth over the next few days and hope the turtle becomes more active. It weighs 12.9kg and has a curved carapace length of 600mm. Samples have been taken but we are not sure what is the "normal" levels of metabolites .. etc for a loggerhead turtle.

We will keep you updated.

20 November 2013

On 19 November, the IWDG/SDWF were contacted about a stranded turtle washed up at Seafield, Quilty, Co Clare. Simon Berrow and John Flynn visited the beach and recovered a live loggerhead turtle measuring 600m (curved carapace length). The turtle which was named "Leon" after the famous shipwreck in Quilty, was transported to Galway Atlantiquarium, where attempts are being made to rehabilitate it. The IWDG/SDWF are grateful to Lorna King of Quilty who found and reported the turtle.

This is the third record for this species on the IWDG database, with two records from 2008 (Wexford and Mayo) but many more are reported to the UK and Ireland Marine Turtle Stranding Scheme and all records are available on the NBN Gateway (www.nbn.org.uk). Interestingly this is the third reported turtle stranding in November 2013 with a dead leatherback found at Muirioch, Co. Kerry on 9 November and another dead leatherback turtle at Magheroarty, Co. Donegal on 10 November.