Départ des tortues - CESTM - Aquarium La Rochelle

Turtles
on the Go

Suivi des tortues
At 10:30 am on Wednesday, 2 July 2014, on Plage de la Conche des Baleines, a beach at the northern end of Ile de Ré, Francesca, Flot, Flamme, Flute and Fossette, five sea turtles being treated at La Rochelle Aquarium's CESTM, returned to the ocean before the eyes of a thousand spectators.
Three of them are fitted with satellite transmitters.

A first map of their positions can be seen in the attached photos.
To track the path of the turtles, click HERE

Francesca, the star of the event:

 
No sooner had they arrived on the beach than Francesca, a gorgeous 100 kg loggerhead turtle, rushed to the water's edge and swam out the open sea in just a few minutes, carried away by the first wave to come.
 

The thousand people in attendance applauded her, touched and thrilled by the spectacle.

Washed up on the Morbihan coast in Brittany in 2002, Francesca spent 12 years at Oceanopolis, the aquarium in Brest. A few weeks ago, she was entrusted to the CESTM, La Rochelle Aquarium's Research and Care Centre for Sea Turtles, in preparation for her big exit.
 

She displayed all the required abilities to allow her to return to her natural environment, the scientists having observed her aptitude at hunting live prey and her strong diving and submersion capacities.

 

Previous data shows that some turtles, after undergoing rehabilitation for more than 30 years, can display behaviours that are similar to those of turtles in the wild.

 

With four young turtles to keep her company...

 

Flot, Flamme, Fossette and Flute then followed her trail down to the sea with the same enthusiasm and excitement on the part of the crowds.
Only Futé, the Kemp's ridley turtle, stayed in the centre to recover from a case of conjunctivitis.

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