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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Ten rehabilitated turtles to spend summer at aquarium in The Dubai Mall

The turtles will complete their three-month rehabilitation at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Turtles are cared for at the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. Jaime Puebla / The National
Turtles are cared for at the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. Jaime Puebla / The National

Ten turtles in the final stages of their treatment have been transferred from the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater zoo for the summer.

The turtles - which normally reside in the Jumeirah Al Naseem turtle lagoon - can now be seen by visitors of The Dubai Mall alongside the 30,000 permanent residents, including sand tiger sharks, stingrays and massive shoals of colourful fish.

The rehabilitation centre based in Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Jumeirah Al Naseem, transferred the turtles to the aquarium after rescuing them from the Arabian Gulf and treating them for three months.

The animals suffered a range of injuries, most commonly shell damage from boat strikes and limb loss from fishing lines and net entanglement.

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Warren Baverstock, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s aquarium operations manager, said he hoped the transfer to the aquarium would help educate visitors about turtles, their habitats and global conservation efforts in the fight against their extinction.

“After a three-month rehabilitation period, the turtles will be returned to our aquarium, fitted with a satellite tag and then released back into the Arabian Gulf,” Mr Baverstock said.

The three main species the turtle project receives throughout the year are the Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead turtles.

The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo has worked with the DTRP for three years, hosting five other turtles during their rehabilitation process earlier this year.

More than 1,300 turtles have been successfully returned to the sea since the project’s inception ten years ago. The turtles were all rescued from the shores of the UAE and nursed back to health by the DTRP, which is the only project of its kind in the Middle East and Red Sea region.

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