LOT’s New Turtle Rescue and Release Car

First Day of Service

You may remember the wonderful Eco Visitor Marika and the students of Eglisau Secondary School in Switzerland.

After spending sometime with us here in Watamu, Marika put our desperate need for a new release car to the students at Eglisau Secondary School where her husband is the head teacher. Those amazing students chose LOT to be a beneficiary from their Easter Charity Run and managed to raise enough money for a new car!

Today the dream became a reality and the new car went out for its first day on the job and didn’t have much time to rest as 9 turtles needed our help. Amazingly the first turtle that needed to be rescued was none other than three flippered Captain Hook. Captain Hook was a patient in our rehabilitation centre and a frequent visitor through the Bycatch Release Programme. Fikiri, LOT’s By Catch Release Programme COordinator, could hardly believe that this particular turtle was the first release of the day on this particular day.

Marika came to know Captain Hook rather well during her time at LOT and we are convinced that this particular Hawksbill just wanted a ride in the new car. It seems rather fitting that Captain Hook was the first turtle to set flipper in the car that without Marika, we would not have for a long time to come yet.

The old Maruti Gypsy has been desperate to retire for sometime now and didn’t quite make until the new car arrived. However, we will always be grateful for her service. The new Mahindra Bolero being a ‘pick up’ with much more space will enable more turtles to be collected at one time, reducing fuel costs, transport time and the amount of time turtles are waiting out of the water before being rescued.

This new addition to the LOT team has been called Punda meaning Donkey in Swahili. We have great respect for donkeys as they are incredibly loyal and hardworking. The staff decided that this would be the perfect name for the new car!

So a huge thank you to Marika, her husband Stephan, the students of Eglisau Secondary School, Tony from Simba Colt, Dave Williamson from AVA, Salmin from Metcast, our core funders AFEW, DWCF and TUSK and everybody who helps us by donating. The LOT team, Captain Hook and the other turtles of Watamu are eternally grateful!