65 Hawksbill turtles were released into the wild…

If you needed something to make you go ‘aww’ today, we’ve got just the thing to fit the (hawks) bill. Some seriously cool pictures and videos of HH. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai releasing turtles back into the wild have been revealed.

It was ‘World Turtle Day’ on June 16, and Jumeirah Group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project celebrated by releasing 45 rehabilitated Hawksbill turtles back into the wild. Additionally, 20 hatchlings were released from Emirates Marine Environmental Group’s Jebel Ali Reserve.

In photos and videos posted to Sheikh Hamdan’s own Instagram page, he can be seen putting turtles of lots of different sizes into the Arabian Gulf, with an Insta-worthy backdrop of the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel behind him, He was seen releasing turtles into the sea by boat and simply into the water.


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Gerhard Beukes, the Director of Aquarium Operations and Animal Husbandry at Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project said, “The rehabilitation process starts with critical care at the facilities at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, then progresses to the state-of-the-art, sea-fed turtle rehabilitation lagoon, where the turtles acclimate to ambient conditions, and build up fitness levels prior to release back into the wild”.

According to a press release, ‘Hawksbills are especially important to Coral Reef health as they forage on and keep sponges in check, which out-compete corals. Pressures on nests, juveniles, and adults have led to rapidly declining numbers, and it is thought that there are less than 8000 adult nesting females globally, a reduction of 80% in the last century.’

Since the team started back in 2004, over 1,900 turtles have been released back into the wild, or more specifically, the Arabian Gulf. An average of 225 turtles have been rescued per year. Following treatment for various ailments, these turtles have spent time in the lagoon at Jumeirah Al Naseem, before being released into the wild.

Images: Instagram