In 2020, Equestrio Foundation funded its first project: Lampedusa Turtle Rescue. This centre, located on Italy’s southernmost island, has been working for over 25 years to take care of sea turtles and reintroduce them into their natural habitat. We have decided to renew our support to the association in 2022 to contribute to the safeguard of one of the emblems of the damages caused by human activity on nature.
No “home sweet home” for turtles
The idyllic turquoise waters of Lampedusa have all the makings of a veritable paradise for swimmers and beachgoers. But they are also a place of dire peril for the Carreta Caretta, the species of sea turtles that live in the temperate and subtropical waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Feeling endangered in their own home, in the very waters that have been their natural habitat for over 150 million years? Entering the sad realm of endangered species after having lived alongside the most ferocious of dinosaurs and overcome all the climate crises? What a strange story…
Sea turtles, an endangered species
A story that we would have dreamt of being different, to be honest, as the sea has regrettably become today the symbol of many of the dangers imposed by humans on other living beings. The danger of pollution to start with, which leads to the disappearance of coral and plants that allow turtles to hide from their predators and that provide the food necessary to their survival. It is thus increasingly common to see them swallowing plastic thinking they are feeding on jellyfish. The hazard of fishing, too. Many turtles are found injured by hooks or trapped in the claws of lines and nets. Finally, the destruction of the coastline and the invasion by tourists deprive them of their original breeding grounds, thus contributing to the decline in their population.
Although the turtles, unlike us, never send any message in a bottle, it is urgent to listen to them and to take action for their safeguard. This is exactly what the mission of the Lampedusa Turtle Rescue is about.
A hospital with a sea view
This centre is just like a little hospital but filled with distinctive salty fragrances and with sea water tanks as beds. Otherwise, you’ll find the usual laboratory for analysis, an operating room and… statistics, like any hospital worthy of the name! Each year, the centre performs 50 operations and welcomes about a hundred turtles in distress which, thanks to the efforts of volunteer biologists and veterinarians, are cured before being released back into their natural habitat. Hopefully, the many awareness-raising activities carried out by the centre alongside the care will contribute, over time, to making this living environment more favourable to their well-being and safety.
Continuous challenges and …funding needs
Since its creation, the centre has considerably grown and improved the quality of its facilities. However, many challenges still lie ahead, such as the purchase of new equipment to improve the quality of care or the use of new technology to further research on the behaviour of turtles in captivity.
Lampedusa Turtle Rescue relies solely on donations and the commitment of numerous volunteers.
Equestrio Foundation’s funding
During our first collaboration in 2020, Equestrio Foundation contributed to the financing of a second-hand van, microbiology equipment, a surgical operating table and information panels aimed at the public visiting the centre.
For this new project in 2022, we have decided to allocate 9,000 euros to the purchase of medical and pharmaceutical products (antibiotics, anaesthetics, various supplies), surgical tools, an operating lamp and food covering the needs of 10 convalescent turtles for 4 months.
A fruitful collaboration
We are very excited about this continuing partnership. Because marine turtles are as fascinating as essential to our marine ecosystems. But also because Lampedusa Turtle Rescue has totally won us over with the solidity of its project, the seriousness of its management and the sincerity of its commitment. All these characteristics constitute key criteria in our choice of partner and allow us to transform actions into success stories for animals.