Together We Protect

June 20th, 2023

The story of Salina is rich in anthropomorphic episodes and… and it has a very happy ending. This is so because, 02 years after being rescued from the Guadiana River and 01 year after being returned to the Ocean, this loggerhead turtle is now more than 1850 kilometres away from the farewell location and has already swum over 7,600 kilometres. And this couldn’t make its team of rescuers and rehabilitators happier…

Salina’s story begins by intersecting with that of humans in the Guadiana River, where she was rescued by a fisherman and his wife (Vanessa and Ricardo Gonçalves), who found her trapped in nets in June 2021. At the time, she weighed 38.7 kg – then, on July 20, 2022, when she was released back to the sea aboard the NRP Cassiopeia, her carapace measured 67 centimetres and she weighed 51.8 kg, after spending 13 months receiving care at the Zoomarine’s Porto d’Abrigo.

Attached to the carapace of this Caretta caretta is a device (KiwiSat Argos) that has allowed us to track her maritime progress hour by hour, day by day. The journey can be followed online, and the data will be used in future scientific publications ( If all goes as planned, the device’s battery should still allow for another 4 to 8 months of data collection, revealing whether the Mediterranean will continue to be the preferred destination for this marine reptile.

Porto d’Abrigo, founded 21 years ago in November 2002 at Zoomarine, is solely financed through park visitors’ tickets. Besides being the first, it has also been the only centre in Portugal for several years specifically dedicated to the rehabilitation of aquatic species. Salina is one of the hundreds of lives saved and returned to the wild, a clear example of the noble role that progressive zoos can and should play in supporting Science, Education for Sustainability, and Nature Conservation – because our planet needs it, because our Planet deserves it… and because “Together, We Protect.”

Stay strong, Salina! Your destiny is our motivation. We continue with you…

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