On the last day of the UK team’s recce of Ecuador we discovered a turtle, upside down on the beach. First impressions were that it was dead, but looking closely you could see its throat flexing slowly.
With the help of Byron, from the local village, we carried the turtle down to the shore line, if only to get it out of the sun and into the cool of the water. I suppose we had hoped it may be able to swim off, but it was much too weak and it was apparent immediately that he could not cope even if we took him into deeper water. It took many calls for Byron to try contact the local National Park authorities and other animal rescue charities, but eventually he got through and we drove the turtle to Puerto Lopez. The National Park vet examined the turtle, declared it to be male, about 20 years old and essentially in good order. It (he) had evidence of a collision with a boat on his shell, but they were superficial injuries and the vet was confident that he would be back where he belongs in the Pacific Ocean within a week. Most of the weakness came from his having been upside down for a long time, which (if I got the Spanish right) is bad for turtles and effects all their internal organs and lung. How exiting it is to rescue a turtle. Camp Ecuador’s first bit of project work done.