Lamcot Blog

July 09 | Prince William The Turtle

The Sick Green turtle caught by local fishermen on April 29, 2011, named Prince William, because he was caught during the royal wedding!

On Friday, April 29, 2011 around 2pm, LaMCoT was brought a sick Green turtle. Local fishermen found him floating in the channel between Lamu and Manda Islands. The turtle was attempting to dive, but kept floating back up to the top of the water. This is one sign pointing to a sick turtle; when they cannot sound (dive and stay down) in the water, which means there is a problem. There was a good amount of algae growing on the top of his shell as well, another sign that he was floating for an extended period of time and exposed to direct sunlight.

The group of ten fishermen put him in their boat, and brought the turtle to the beach outside of Peponi hotel, where the LaMCoT office is located. These fishermen were given compensation for this turtle. LaMCoT has been working hard for years to increase the local community’s awareness of the endangered status of marine turtles, and to do this, they created a compensation scheme, to keep fishermen from killing the turtles for the meat, to bring them instead to LaMCoT for tagging and treatment is necessary.

This male green turtle is about 60 years old. He was immediately cleaned, measured, and tagged. He was adopted and rightfully named him Prince William, as he was brought to LaMCoT when the royal wedding was being aired on TV!

Prince William was severely dehydrated from not being able to stay underwater. We put him in a freshwater tank, as freshwater allows turtles to absorb water faster than if he was put in saltwater. It was crucial that we immediately began to rehydrate him. Thrice a day Prince William was given rehydrating salts and fed seaweed to sustain him. It is a very possible probability that he ate a plastic bag, which is keeping him from breathing properly. This creates an air bubble, making him float. Luckily, the turtle was defecating, which means that he was not completely blocked up, and has a much higher chance of survival.

After monitoring Prince William from Friday to Monday, May 2, 2011, LaMCoT decided to send him to the Watamu Turtle Watch for further treatment. Good luck Prince William!

Named in honor of Prince William, a patron of the Tusk Trust that supports LaMCoT financially.