Friday, November 20, 2015

Trainees at the Centre!

Since Monday the 16th we 've had  2 trainess from the SMA- Seychelles Maritime Academy. Aicha and Angelique are doing their work attachment experience and
have been helping us out with all the projects and different tasks at the centre, here's their brief sum up of their first week with us............
The girls cleaning Baby Projects' tank

Angelique checking out the traps
Since we started our work attachment with MCSS at the Wildlife conservation and rehabilitation centre at Intendance it has been very interesting so far .We got the chance to see our first turtle nesting, it was really exciting actually. We came across some really slow turtles but we did enjoy their company seeing them through the whole process of nesting. Unfortunately we came across only Hawksbill turtles because they nest during the day as for the Green turtles they nest during the night mostly.
Apart from sea turtles we also work on Terrapins. We put traps around the wetlands, we haven’t caught as many terrapins as we thought but we did came across one while walking near the streets and named her Wilelnina. When we x-rayed her we saw that she was full of eggs and that was great because we thought she was just fat!........ But she seemed healthy enough so we let her go.

To sum up, the environment is very nice, we felt really welcomed. Vanessa, Mary and Lynn the ladies at the centre are so nice and friendly. We really appreciate what they’re doing. We are going to make our last three weeks working here very fruitful.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Banyan Tree Blog – 2nd Week Nov, 2015
This week the Wildlife Conservation & Rehabilitation Centre welcomed Johanna who is a vet working with Wildlife Vets International on Tuesday 10 Nov. In addition to bringing us some much-needed veterinary supplies, Johanna lent us her expertise by giving our current terrapin patients a quick check-up. She confirmed our initial findings and gave the patients a clean bill of health which means that they can now be released into the wild as per the Centre’s Policy.
The expert checking out our patients
Johanna also conducted a demonstration Post Mortem on a dead moorhen the Centre’s staff members had found the previous week while out putting traps in the wetland. She certified that the moorhen had been hit by a car, proof of which we got not only from the post mortem but also from the X-Rays taken from the state-of-the-art veterinary portable X-Ray the MCSS purchased from funds partly sponsored by the GoS-UNDP-GEF project and partly raised by Madaline Cole’s family & friends.
An x-ray of a Moorhen
   The post mortem served three main objectives. Firstly, it was to allow Johanna to teach us the anatomy of the bird and help us identify bone fractures which in her view are usually easy to diagnose and treat. She highlighted methods we can use to treat such fractures and precautions that we need to take while giving care to the injured bird. This is important given the population of resident birds in the Banyan Tree wetland.
Conducting the post mortem
On Tuesday afternoon Mary and I finally received the hook which had been found lodged in the back of a nesting turtle’s neck the previous week. It was a Banyan Tree staff member, Randy Camille, Senior Security Supervisor, who had encountered the turtle in front of the Rhum Shack on the Intendance Beach out of working hours, and had subsequently taken care to remove the foreign object from the injured turtle’s neck. Randy is a turtle enthusiast who is always willing to lend us a hand and his enthusiasm and compassion are greatly appreciated.
The nasty hook!
So last week I had hinted at the drought we had experienced in terms of terrapin trappings and I had indicated that we sorely missed our lucky charm to change the tide in our favour. Well, this week I’m utterly pleased to report that things are looking up. Mary is now firmly back in the fold and has already started working her magic. We are putting in mostly day traps in the wetland this week and on Wednesday afternoon we had a Black Mud Terrapin capture in Pond 7. It is the first time the Centre has captured any terrapin at this site and we have established that Ray, the terrapin is in fact a new sighting whose details have since been uploaded to our Terrapin Catalogue. In addition, a Banyan Tree staff member brought us a female terrapin found in one of the Villas by a hotel guest. This success was followed by yet another capture on Thursday. This time we caught Carl in Pond 1; it’s the second time Carl has been caught in our traps, the first time round we caught him while trapping in Pond 3.

On Thursday we also conducted our monthly Water test where we get water samples from different ponds and test them for the following: Ammonia, Acidity, Nitrite, Nitrate, Alkalinity and GH Hardness. The aim is to make sure that the water is safe for the different species living in the wetland, and if it’s not, to alert the hotel so that they can do further tests and take immediate corrective measures. The results show that the water is safe for our wetland species.
Conducting the water tests

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The centre keeping busy!

Intendance Beach Blog – 1st Week of November, 2015-11-06
This working week was relatively shorter with the Public Holiday Monday, however, our sea turtles have kept the momentum as we now enter into the peak nesting season. Tuesday proved to be quite interesting. The Centre welcomed a couple, Emile and Julia, hailing from Milan who happens to have honeymooned in our islands seven years prior. They have opted to mix business with pleasure as the husband assists us with our ‘drone problem’.
drone operation!

nesting turtle
His wife, Julia, proved to be very helpful as I monitored my fourth nesting turtle on Intendance beach. She enthusiastically assisted me through the different stages as we interacted with the tourists on the beach and took the turtle’s measurements and identification photos, while noting all the information down on the Trimble. Since the turtle had her mind set on nesting all the way under the vegetation by the famous Rhum Shack, these tasks proved to be quite arduous.

Thursday brought a surprise patient into one of our tanks at the centre. A kind soul had dropped a new terrapin off. We’ve since named her Chunk because of the noticeably large chunk of shell missing off her carapace, more precisely on the left hind sight. Chunk has now joined the Centre’s baby, Project, and our ever-so guarded Hiccup, who is still refusing to sample our gourmet manufactured reptiles food.

As the week comes to a close, we are yet to strike lucky on our traps that we are placing in different sites in the wetland. We are in serious need of our lucky charm, the witty Mary, who is due back this weekend. Can’t wait to have her back on the team!