Tuesday Sep, 17 2019 02:32:25 PM

Olive Ridley sea turtle released in Sarangani Bay

Climate Change/Environment • 23:30 PM Sat May 25, 2019
Row Anne H Sumagpao/DENR-12
DENR-12 Regional Director Nilo Tamoria (left) closely watched the sea turtle trying to crawl back to the wild in Glan Sarangani as CENRO Abdul Cariga looks on. (DENR-12)

KORONADAL CITY – Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DERN-12) have released an olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtle in Sarangani Bay on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

At 7:00 in the morning, officials of DENR Region XII headed by Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria, CENR Officer of Glan Abdul C. Cariga and Technical Service Division Chief, Dr. Rosalinda B. Cortez and some local folks finally freed the estimated to be less than a year old olive ridley sea turtle to the ocean to live normally in their natural habitat.

Director Nilo B. Tamoria had ordered the immediate release after finding out that it was in captivity for (9) nine months.

“We want this marine creature to live freely to the ocean. But prior to its release, the DENR had acclimatized the sea turtle by feeding food like live crabs to ascertain that it can survive in the wild,” Director Tamoria said.

Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS) Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Joy C. 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.

A local resident revealed that the sea turtle was found and saved by Nena Tabaya 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 plangana unya gamay pa kaayo na sya. (it was nine (9) months ago when I saw the sea turtle entangled in a net. I took it and placed in a small washbasin, which was very tiny then,” said Mrs. Ebba.

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,” said Mrs. Ebba.

“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.

Mrs. Ebba further disclosed that they have attempted to release the sea turtle but kept on coming back.

Further, Director Tamoria thanked the caretaker for the healthy turtle.

“We would also like to thank the RD Foundation, Incorporated for helping us in conserving sea turtles by providing the community with sea turtle enclosures that would serve as nesting ground,” Tamoria added.

“The growing environmental awareness of the community, the support of the private of and the technical assistance of the DENR will paved way to a well-managed Sarangani Bay,” he concluded. (RHSumagpao)

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