Scott Mayback, Resident Marine Biologist releasing Ninja back into the sea
Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre is Malaysia's first turtle rehabilitation centre and Ninja is the fourth turtle to be taken in by the resort. She was first discovered on April 4th, after the resort's Turtle Hotline received a call from Dr. Nathan Sen, the Assistant Director of Sabah Wildlife Department. He and his team had discovered a farmer who had the turtle in his possession. In Sabah, turtles are a protected species, carrying a fine of RM50,000 and 5 years imprisonment if found capturing them.
Gaya Island Resort's Marine Centre is located at the private Tavajun Bay
We say hello to Ninja :)
Gaya Island's Resort Manager Mr. Kirinjit Singh addressing the guests
Dr. Sen rescued Ninja and transferred her to Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre. At this point, Ninja was emaciated and suffering from septicemia. She was put under the care of the centre's resident Marine Biologist, Scott Mayback. She was kept under surveillance and given various medications including antibiotics and topical medications to remove barnacles. Within 3 months, her weight improved from 7.7kg to 8.6kg and her appetite and colour returned.
Scott Mayback and Dr. Nathan Sen
Ninja is deemed fit and able to survive in the sea by Marine Research Foundations's Dr Nick Pilcher on June 27th and was released at the Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre.
Ninja being released back into the sea... Bye Ninja!
"Saving a single turtle requires team effort," says Mr Mayback. "For rescuing and rehabilitating Ninja, I need to thank Dr.Sen, Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit's Dr Diana Ramirez who helped with the medical treatments, and Dr. Pilcher, without whom the turtle rescue centre would not have been founded. I hope that we can continue to not only help turtles and other sea life in need of care, but also motivate and inspire the public so they can also support and value our rich marine eco-system."
The event ended with Mr. Mayback carrying the turtle into the waters of Gaya Island Resort's private Tavajun Bay, where she was released into her natural habitat. Ninja is estimated to be 7-10 years old; green sea turtles generally live up to approximately 80 years old, so we hope that Ninja lives a long, healthy life.
Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre's turtle rescue hotline can be contacted at +6013 899 9509. The public is encouraged to call the hotline should they find a sick, injured or illegally kept turtle in Sabah.
Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre is now home to several other baby turtles. Baby C and D were excited to see them and show them some love :)
Joyous moment :)
A delicious Thai-inspired lunch awaits us at Feast Village after the turtle release event.
Many thanks to YTL Hotels for the kind invitation to this event.
Location: Gaya Island Resort, Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia.
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