The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) has collaborated with the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall and released 40 endangered sea turtles into the Arabian Gulf next to Jumeirah Al Naseem to celebrate World Sea Turtle Day.
For the past three years, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall has supported the DTRP and this year raised awareness of the project by hosting five of the turtles as part of their rehabilitation process.
The four juvenile hawksbills and one amputee juvenile green turtle named Jane were displayed in a large exhibit to raise awareness about the plight of the sea turtles in the region and also to promote the project via literature around the exhibit. In support of the project and research, Dubai Mall Aquarium then purchased five satellite tags for the turtles to enable the team to track their progress in the wild.
Warren Baverstock, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s Aquarium Operations Manager, said: “The exhibit at Dubai Mall, which highlights DTRP’s rehabilitation efforts is designed to educate the many visitors to Dubai Mall on the plight of these turtles. After a month rehabilitation period, the turtles were returned to the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah aquarium, fitted with a satellite tag and then released back into the Arabian Gulf. Their movements can now be monitored and followed on Facebook.”
All sea turtles displayed were rescued by the DTRP based at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah. The project is run in conjunction with the Wildlife Protection Office and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East and Red Sea region. Essential veterinary services are provided by Dubai Falcon Clinic and Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.
The aim of the exhibition is to educate visitors about turtles, their habitats and global conservation efforts in the fight against extinction. The day-to-day running of the DTRP and the animal husbandry is managed by Burj Al Arab’s dedicated aquarium team.
A rare olive ridley sea turtle called Barnacle recently checked out of Jumeirah Al Naseem’s turtle rehabilitation lagoon with more than 70 critically endangered hawksbill turtles who headed back home into the waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Children from the Dubai British School purchased a special satellite tag for Barnacle which will enable them to track her progress online. The kids were invited to the release learn more about the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) and wave the turtles off from the beach by Jumeirah Al Naseem.
More than 1,300 sea turtles have been successfully returned to the sea over the past ten years since the project’s inception. The turtles have all been rescued from the shores of the UAE and nursed back to health by the DTRP one of the longest standing corporate social responsibility initiatives in the region and the only project of its kind in the Middle East and Red Sea region.