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Turtle-y 'magical' moment

Kalesi Mele
Thursday, November 02, 2017

MORE than 10 turtles were released in the sea yesterday by crew members of the Uto ni Yalo, the Mamanuca Environment Society and a family from Vuda in Lautoka.

Grace Dunn, a Vuda resident, said she discovered the hatchlings outside their home several months ago.

"My initial thought was to contact my friend Lambert Ho, who I knew would be able to point me in the right direction of who to contact," she said.

"We then contacted the Fisheries Department and they advised us on what to do. We initially found 28 but lost five of them along the way.

"I am just glad we were able to release some of the turtles today because I know how precious they are.

"The whole experience has just been magical."

Uto ni Yalo crew member Lambert Ho said the release of the turtles meant a lot to the crew.

"We work on creating awareness about conservation and for us today this meant a lot," he said.

"Our symbol is a turtle and we are aware that turtles can travel places for years but will always return home to lay eggs.

"Just like the turtle, we may sail across the oceans to different countries but we will always come home to tell our stories of conservation and always relay these messages back to our people and more particularly to the younger generation."

MES project manager Marica Vakacola said they had to monitor several of the turtles for the next few months before they too could be released.

"They are quite young and cannot be released at this stage," she said.

"We have made arrangements for them to be transferred to Mana Island Resort where they can be monitored on a weekly basis."

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