The Department of Environment’s turtle-rescue team sprang into action over the weekend to save a green sea turtle after it got stuck in a swimming pool.
“We got the call on Saturday afternoon from a family that had moved into a condo on West Bay Road for a staycation,” said DOE conservation officer Mark Orr.
Orr told Cayman Compass he believed the turtle got stranded after making a “bad turn” the previous night after she finished laying her eggs.
“We found tracks leading from the pool to a large nest on the beach,” said Orr. “It looks like she made a bad turn while trying to get back to the water, and because the pool is designed so that it is flush with the beach, she must have wandered over and fallen in.”
Orr and a group of volunteers were able to hoist the turtle out of the pool and return the animal to the sea.
“We kind of corralled her to the shallow end of the pool,” said Orr. “From there, we got a hold of her flippers and stood her up horizontally, and then kind of rolled her out on the side of the pool.”
The 350-pound turtle was then cradled in a towel and brought back to the sea, largely unharmed. Orr told the Compass this isn’t the first time he has had to rescue a turtle from the same pool.
“This is the second turtle that we have had to rescue from that particular pool, and the fourth turtle that I have had to rescue in my 20 years on the job,” he said. “Of all the rescues though, this one was by far the easiest; it was over in pretty much 10 minutes.”
“And the good news is that she only sustained a few minor scratches that will heal up within the next few days,” he added.
The nest was flagged and will be monitored by the DoE.
“I have a soft spot for turtles, and it always feels good to be able to rescue one from damage,” said Orr.