A happy ending to a turtle tale

Maarten and Ben release a ready-to-go Bobbie

For several weeks, the San Pedro Sun has been keeping you abreast of the fate of a wounded Loggerhead Turtle named Bobbie. The future looked dim those first few days after her capture, but with time, energy and lots of tender loving care she survived. She was very lucky to have come across the loving hands of a few San Pedro residents. Here is her happy ending.

After over a month of intensive care, Bobbie the Loggerhead Turtle, was deemed fit and healthy for release on April 1st, 1999. Her head injury had healed, her weight had increased 20 pounds and she was as strong as an ox, compared to her inability to even raise a flipper when she was brought to Dr. Bronwen Eastwood and Maarten Hoffmann for rehabilitation. The most reassuring news that she was ready for release was, after weeks of being fed by stomach tube, she was seen eating on her own for the last few days of captivity.

At 8 a.m. on April 1st, Dillon from Bacalar Chico Turtle Reserve and Miguel from Hol Chan Marine Park arrived with two boats to assist in her release. As Bron and Maarten believe very strongly in the education of children in the study of marine animal conservation, they filled the boats with local Sanpedrano children, and set off for Bacalar Chico. Once on site, Maarten and his son Ben entered the water whilst Dillon, Miguel and Bron gently handed her over the side. There is no doubt that she sensed freedom as she began to struggle for all she was worth as she saw the ocean, her home.

Maarten and Ben held her for a few seconds to check her breathing, and then let her go. WOW, this formerly sick and dying turtle took off like a torpedo. Maarten and Ben kept up with her for less then 30 seconds, before she made them feel like bricks trying to swim. She tucked up her rear flippers, looked around and then she was gone - to freedom and who knows, maybe to be reunited with her family.

Bron and Maarten now eagerly await a post card or thank you note from Bobbie! They would like to thank all the Sanpedranos and those tourists who very kindly donated funds to offset the medical bills for Bobbie, and special thanks to Lopez Drugs, who helped enormously.

A happy ending to a turtle tale

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