Moment Cured Turtles Poisoned By Red Tide Return To Sea

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

Video Credit: CEN/@CONANPCMT

This is the moment a turtle that was saved from poisoning last year returns to the sea along with six of his pals that are also on the mend.

The seven marine turtles were released in the beach of the town of Mazunte, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, after being treated for poisoning at the end of 2019, according to the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP).

They were six green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and one olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) which were treated in the Mexican Centre of the Turtle (CMT) “for having ingested salpas during the presence of the red tide in the region between the areas of Salina Cruz and Puerto Escondido, authorities reported.

Picture Credit: CEN/CONANP

At the end of December 2019, the CMT received more than a dozen turtles, especially olive ridley turtles and green turtles. All of them had signs of intoxication and thanks to the analysis done, it was confirmed that it was caused by the red tide phenomenon.

On 25th December, this phenomenon took place in Oaxaca coast, causing the rise of the microalgae in the water.

The day after, the CMT did the autopsy to two green sea turtles which were found dead in the beach of Huatulco and it was later confirmed that the cause of the death was intoxication by salpas which can paralyze the turtles.

In total, 292 marine turtles died. They were both green sea and olive ridley sea turtle species which of the kind typically found in the coast of the south of Mexican Pacific.

Picture Credit: CEN/CONANP

Volunteers, researchers and authorities managed to save 27 animals which were taken to the center for the recovery process.

Martha Harfuch, member of the CMT told local media that “most of them male, and when they mate they stop eating. We believed that is what happened, that they finished their mating season and were travelling to the food areas, but they found the salpas, they ate them and therefore they got intoxicated”.

The red tide phenomenon is not new. In February 2016, a similar situation happened on the coast of Oaxaca.

Picture Credit: CEN/CONANP

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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