SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Princess Fiona - snatched from the jaws of death

11.30pm the phone goes.  It's Phil, they have a turtle and she is upside down a kilometre from the beach.  They are in the Cotton Bay (Algodoeiro) area and have probably just scared off the hunters.
They have tried to lift her but the turtle probably weighs more than Janice and it is a no go on that front. 

Instantly wide awake, Neal & I run for the big torch, quad keys and phones and we're out the door.  Call Paulo who is on Costa Fragata and ask him to call the police.  The culprits are probably still around.  The police say 'no transport, sorry' but then change their minds and tell us they will come if we collect them.  Race round to the police station and Neal heads off on the quad while I wait for the taxi.  Two lovely policemen hop in and we're off. 

Driving down towards the beach, for once we are making noise and lights blazing - we want the hunters to know that the police are coming.  Locate Phil and Janice and the turtle who had a near death experience and all is well.  She is full of beans and heading back to the sea. 

Meanwhile another pick up turns up and another six policemen get out!  They have driven right through the settlement in the oasis which is most likely where the hunters are and they will go back there to ask some questions.  What a great deterrent. 

Slow progress with the turtle though, so it's 'up you go' and on to the back of the quad.  "She won't like that" I say as she starts flapping her flippers in the vicinity of Neal's arms and legs and yes, she lands him a couple of good ones right on the arse!!!

Down to the shore and she's off into the sea as if nothing ever happens.  We go home wired and unable to sleep and Phil and Janice continue their vigilance for the rest of the night.

Three questions remain:
1. Why is it Janice who always finds upside down turtles?
2. Why is it always me & Neal on call when there is an upside down turtle?
3. Why has a turtle been called Princess Fiona?

Just your regular night in turtleville.

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