SAO PAULO – Preciosa, a 4-year-old turtle whose right front flipper was amputated after she got caught in a fishing net, is one of 25 animals being rehabilitated by a Brazilian environmental organization that operates on the coasts of Sao Paulo state.
The lack of a limb will not prevent Preciosa’s re-adaptation to her natural habitat, Rosane Farah, chief biologist and operations coordinator of the Gremar group, told EFE.
She will swim slower than other turtles and she might encounter “obstacles” when she seeks out a mate, Farah said.
Fishing nets and the ingestion of human refuse are the two main causes that cause marine animals such as fish, birds, turtles and even penguins to wash up dead or injured on the beach, she said.
The most fortunate end up being rescued and nursed back to health by Gremar and other likeminded groups.
Creatures found dead on the sand are picked up by Gremar’s team of 50 veterinarians, biologists and other volunteers who perform autopsies to determine the cause of death and document the presence of refuse in their bodies.
“We always make an effort to identify traces of trash in the animals so that through environmental education, we are able to alert people about the consequences of littering,” Farah said.
Every day at 5:45 am, Gremar members head out to inspect 24 Sao Paulo beaches, a task that takes between three and four hours.