Green turtle set free, a little fatter, healthier
A juvenile green turtle accidentally caught in a fishing net in Hong Kong waters nearly four months ago was returned to its natural habitat yesterday.
The green turtle, which is one of the five species of sea turtles found in Hong Kong waters and protected under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, was found by a fisherman in his net at Mui Wo on April 13.
The fisherman called the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, and the turtle was sent to Ocean Park for veterinary assessment the next day.
Found to be in good condition, it was cared for at the Hong Kong Wetland Park, where caretakers fed it squid, shrimp and vegetables.
While there, its body weight increased from 7.8kg to 10.4kg, and its carapace grew from 40cm to 45cm.
'Its good shape suggested that it was ready to be returned to sea,' a spokesman for the department said.
A microchip was planted into the turtle for future identification, and a satellite transmitter was attached to it before its release.
'Green turtles are remarkable for their migratory behaviour. By tracing the migratory routes and feeding grounds of green turtles, the AFCD can draw up protection measures and seek co-operation with relevant authorities to better conserve the species,' the spokesman said.
The department urged members of the public to report any sighting or stranding of sea turtles via the 1823 Call Centre.
In Hong Kong, all sea turtle species are protected under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance and the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance.
The green turtle is one of the five species of sea turtles found in Hong Kong waters and is the only species known to breed locally.