Survived the hook… “Bitten” by Olympic Air

Archipelagos, Institute of Marine Conservation orchestrated the rescue of a young loggerhead turtle, which involved the giving of first aid and transportation of the injured animal to a vet in Athens. The rescue relied on the cooperation of a network of volunteers, comprising of Samos residents, a local veterinarian and members of Archipelagos’ marine research team.

The young turtle was found on Sunday 12th February on Kokkari beach on the north side ofSamosIsland. Residents of the area who found the turtle contacted Archipelagos to report the incident, which enabled members of the marine research team and local volunteers to go immediately to the site in order to provide first aid.

Initial examination showed that the turtle had swallowed a large fishing hook, and was at risk of starvation, due to being unable to feed or swallow. Despite great efforts by Archipelagos’ marine scientists and the localveterinarian (who offered his help on a voluntary basis) it was not possible to remove the hook. As the situationrequired specialized handling, it was necessary to transfer the turtle to Athens to receive medical care at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of the NGO Archelon.

Due to strike action, the turtle could not board the ferry boat which operates from Samosto Athens, so it was necessary to evacuate via aeroplane. Olympic Air, giving lessons in corporate social responsibility, charged (!) 67 Euros for the transfer of the small animal in desperate need of medical attention. The turtle was met inAthens by staff from Archelon, the Association for the Protection of Sea Turtles, who are now carrying out its specialized treatment.

Apart from the Archipelagos team and the local community, researchers from five different countries bore witness to this animal’s long journey to return to health. They experienced first-hand how some large companies, such as Olympic Air, perceive the concept of environmental protection and care of endangered wildlife.

We hope that the airline’s response on this occasion was a mistake, and does not reflect theirgeneral approach to community service and social responsibility.

We wish that our little friend recovers quickly and returns to its natural environment safely…