The British Bases Areas Environment Department said it’s delighted after the safe release of an endangered large female green turtle at the Meneou Rehabilitation Centre this week.
The protected turtle, named Ioli, was discovered stranded, with air trapped in her lungs at Zapalo Beach within Akrotiri SBAs last July and was rescued by volunteers with the help of SBA authorities.
After undergoing rehabilitation at the Cyprus Fisheries Department, the turtle was released back into the water in the presence of the US Ambassador Judith Garber, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis, officials from the SBAs and volunteers responsible for the initial rescue.
The release of Ioli took on extra significance as it also marked World Ocean Day.
According to Pantelis Charilaou, the SBA Administration Environment Department head, it was the perfect way for the turtle to start her journey back into her natural habitat.
“We were delighted to see the successful release at the Meneou Rehabilitation Centre on Tuesday. The successful return of such an endangered, symbolic animal to its natural habitat is great news.”
He paid tribute to the collaborative effort between the SBAs and the Republic.
“After a great deal of care by the Fisheries Department, it is a prime example of the positive outcome of collective action between authorities and volunteers.
“Thanks to environmentally aware beach-users, who contributed significantly to the subsequent difficult rescue, we were able to organise this rescue by the SBA Administration and SBA Police, in close co-operation with the Cyprus Fisheries and Marine Research Department.”