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Sea turtles as part of their joint Wildlife Rescue Program Sea turtles as part of their joint Wildlife Rescue Program

The National Aquarium and Environment Agency Abu Dhabi Rescues, Rehabilitates and Releases over 500 Sea Turtles

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and The National Aquarium (TNA) have safely rescued over 500 sea turtles as part of their joint Wildlife Rescue Program, the first rescue, rehabilitation and release initiative in Abu Dhabi.  

The programme was launched in July 2020 and includes purpose-built laboratories, research and rehabilitation facilities at The National Aquarium. In 2022 Wildlife Rescue Program launched a first-of-its-kind rescue boat in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, and plans are underway for a first-of-its-kind wildlife ambulance, capable of providing immediate first aid on remote beaches. The programme continues to grow each year in an effort to protect and celebrate the natural treasures of the UAE.

In the last three years, the programme has released four species of endangered sea turtles, including the Olive Ridley and Loggerhead, which are uncommon in these areas. Two whale sharks, one of which measured seven meters long, sea birds, sea snakes and a variety of exotic animals add to the list of successful rescues.

To monitor the success of the programme, the sea turtles and whale sharks were fitted with satellite tracking devices. This allows valuable research to be conducted into their post-release wellbeing and habits as they migrate thousands of kilometres through the ocean. This data is important both in this region and globally, as many of these animals will travel the world. The programme has also grown to include the Turtle Sanctuary located at Louvre Abu Dhabi, as a last step in rehabilitating the larger turtles before their eventual release.