Welcome home Albert!
Albert a tough green turtle returned home safely to its natal beach, Chagar Hutang, Redang Island on the 21st of October 2010. After spending four years in Aquaria KLCC, it finally had a test of authentic salt water. This was Albert second trip back to Chagar Hutang after it was returned back to AQUARIA last year. It was kept quarantined after suffering from digestion problem. Accompanied by AQUARIA’S curator Matthew and veterinary Dr. Reza, Albert was really in good shape. “Albert had increased both in size and weight after the operation. No problem it will survive the sea.” said Matthew after transferring the turtle into the tank.
Four years ago, Albert was one of the few turtle hatchlings which were transferred to AQUARIA KLCC for head-starting program. It was one of the collaboration between Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and AQUARIA. Head-starting is a stage where a turtle is kept in captivity and raised up with full care before releasing it into the wild.
Albert suffers from digestion problem due to eating non-biodegradable item when it was raised up in AQUARIA. “When we operated on Albert we found many particles of artificial corals in the gut. No wonder it was facing severe constipation” said Matthew. Sea turtles are one of the species that eats almost anything that is similar to their diet regardless it is edible or non-edible. That is why this species is facing major threat from marine debris in ocean. Plastic for example that floats are always mistaken as food due to its characteristic that is similar to jellyfish. When consumed, sea turtle will choke and eventually dies.
The main concern now is how should we reduce marine debris in the ocean? The answer is really easy, YOU! Yes you. We as an individual must be responsible with the environment. Use eco-shopping bag instead of plastic bags, segregate your garbage and rubbish before ending it up at dump site, practice the 5R’s (Reuse, Reduce, Rethink, Refuse and Recycle). All of these formulated will be a blue and greener Oceania. So, as a responsible individual we must take action, preach what you practice.
Albert was released safely on the 23rd October 2010. Both flippers were tagged (1668 and 1669) with inconel tags for individual identification. Weighing 45.9kg, Albert is ready to face the new frontier. Swimming with Albert for almost an hour promise us that Albert is going to survive the wild. Stay strong Albert!