A young Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys Olivacea) Sea Turtle which was in captivity for nine months has been released back into its natural habitat by its the one who saved it from entanglement together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region XII in Sarangani Bay last May 23, 2019.
DENR-12 officials headed by Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria and joined by some local folks freed the sea turtle estimated to be year old. The director ordered the immediate release after finding out that it was in captivity for 9 months.
“We want this marine creature to live freely to the ocean,” the director said. He clarified that prior to its release, the DENR-12 had acclimatized the sea turtle by feeding it food like live crabs to ascertain that it can survive in the wild.
A local resident revealed that the sea turtle was found and saved by Mrs. Nena Ebba, after it was entangled in a net at the beach of Barangay Burias, Glan, Sarangani Province.
“Nakita nako sya mga walo kabulan na ang nilabay nga naa sa pukot. gikuha nako og gibutang sa palangana unya gamay pa kaayo na sya. (it was nine (9) months ago when I saw the sea turtle entangled in a net. I placed in a small washbasin, which was very tiny then,)” said Mrs. Ebba.
Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS) Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Joy Ologuin assured that the turtle is healthy and in good condition to be able to survive in the ocean. “The DENR XII team has made an observation for three (3) days and monitor how it responded during the acclimatization,” PASu Ologuin said.
“It was also placed with tag to be able to monitor its existence,” Ologuin added.
Mrs. Ebba could not hide her tears while the sea turtle was sent back to its natural home. She revealed that taking care of the sea turtle for a long time was not easy. “I need to change the water every two (2) to three (3) days and feed her with fresh fish,” she added.
“Sometimes we don’t have food to eat but I make sure that I could feed her. There are times that I tried to cook rice for her if there is no fish,” she added.
Ebba further disclosed that they have attempted to release the sea turtle but kept on coming back.
The Regional Director commended Ebba and thanked her for her efforts in taking care of the turtle.
Report from DENR-12