When staff at Newquay Blue Reef aquarium first met Tallulah, a tiny loggerhead turtle that had been found stranded on Gwithian beach in Cornwall, they feared she would not make it. And they had good reason. For the turtle, which is thought to have been washed ashore in storms after being swept along by currents from the Caribbean, was extremely weak and dehydrated while her body temperature at just 7C was 20C lower than what it should have been. As a result Tallulah could not move let alone eat. But thanks to the herculean efforts of the aquarium staff Tallulah has beaten the odds.
Kyle Wingfield from the aquarium explained how they did it “The tank was run on a chiller to keep it really cold and every day we would raise the temperature by a degree…When she first arrived it was mainly about rehydrating her so we had to insert a tube into her stomach.” Soon Tallulah was able to feed herself her favourite food of squid. What’s more she has since made such a good recovery that she is to be released into the warmer waters off Gibraltar in the Mediterranean along with another rescued turtle called Una, courtesy of the Irish Navy. Steve Matchett from Blue Reef said “She could go further into the Mediterranean or catch a ride back on the Gulf Stream to warmer waters. We hope, one day, she will return to the beaches she was hatched on to lay her own eggs…Tallulah’s rescue and recovery has already been little short of a miracle.” Thanks largely to the efforts of the team at Newquay aquarium.