It’s an exciting day in the bustling little seaside town of Ponto do Ouro, Mozambique, as a rehabilitated Turtle female green turtle who has been under the care of the team at the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance is finally being released back into the ocean.

On the day of the turtle’s rescue, The Dolphin Centre’s Angie Gullan, informs us that the turtle was originally sighted early in the morning as not being able to dive underwater, which seemed very out of character. Later, Gozo Azul Dive Centre resighted her and brought her back to land and with the assistance of the Maputo National Park’s marine rangers the initial rehabilitation process begun. The turtle was monitored for 24 hours in a pool at The Dolphin Centre, after which she was assisted by of the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance team, who nursed her back to health. Early on it was found that the turtle was suffering from a form of pneumonia. It was a long, slow recovery and the treatment plan involved several X-rays to show how well she was recovering.

You can watch Part 1 of this story on Peace Parks TV to learn more about the innovative treatment she received from the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance team.

After finding that the turtle was healthy enough to be released, Maputo National Park’s warden, Miguel Gonçalves, was on the beach to witness the endangered reptile make her way back into the oceans. He explains how rewarding it was to see tourism and conservation organisations work together for the greater good of nature. In the spirit of collaboration, Mozambique Wildlife Alliance’s Dr Hugo Pereira and Dr Hagnesio Chiponde joined forces with experienced South African veterinarians who assisted with overseeing the turtle’s rehabilitation. It is with thanks to the collaborative efforts from all parties involved, that knowledge has been shared and acquired, helping both local vets and the Maputo National Park team to intervene more rapidly should another incident like this occur.

Maputo National Park, in which the popular holiday town of Ponto do Ouro is situated, plays an integral role for over 80% of critically endangered leatherback and loggerhead turtles in Mozambique that seek sanctuary for a safe nesting site along this protected coastline. The ancient marine reptiles play a critical part in the marine ecosystem, helping to maintain balance in the ocean’s ecosystem through their varying diet. Although Peace Parks Foundation recognises that human interference in the life cycle of nature is not always deemed as correct, it does remain crucial to protect endangered species wherever possible, especially if their numbers have dropped due to human impact. Thanks to dedicated protection efforts from all parties involved, turtles within Maputo National Park are looked after and their well-being is always put first.