Myriam, a young hawksbill turtle of around 60cm, was found floating near a harbor in Tahiti. Olivier, Myriam, Christine and JP, fishermen who spotted her floating and were worried about her inactivity, decided to take her aboard to look for help.
Myriam was then welcomed by Jade and Fred at a diving center called Eleuthera – Tahiti, where she was installed in a big pool in the shade during the wait of a boat for Moorea. It is then Vanina, a volunteer, who took in charge her transport to the boat, and then the company Terevau allowed her crew to take the turtle onboard for free for her transfer to Moorea. At her arrival, our volunteers Cécile and Eliane welcomed the turtle and brought her to the sea turtle rehabilitation center. The entire line of people who helped her reach the rehabilitation center were a beautiful example of solidarity and reactivity.
During the clinical examination of Myriam with our veterinarian and president Cécile Gaspar at her arrival, we discovered a hole caused by a spear gun on Myriam’s neck. Although it had already healed, it was clearly a poaching attempt that had caused her very bad health and that probably explained her difficulty to breath.
Unfortunately, despite the good spirit that had gone along with Myriam during her rescue and with all the cares that were put for her during her time at the by our team under the supervision of our veterinarian Cécile Gaspar, Myriam died on the 17th of March 2017.
During the necropsy, we found a hook followed by about 40cm of fishing line in its intestine.
This sad story provides an opportunity to remind fishermen that when your hook gets caught in coral, try to unhook it without cutting the line. This small act will prevent marine animals, including hawksbill turtles which feed on sponges and nibble on coral, to swallow it by mistake.