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Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 16:27 UK
Giant loggerhead turtle rescued and flown to aquarium
Giant loggerhead Omiro
Giant loggerhead turtle Omiros is unable to hunt or feed due to the severity of his injuries

A giant loggerhead turtle flown to Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium from a rescue centre in Greece is proving a hit with visitors and staff alike.

Omiros was rescued by Archelon - the sea turtle protection society of Greece.

He was discovered blind and entangled in fishing nets with old head injuries believed to have been caused by a ship's propeller.

Blue Reef have taken him in as he will now not be able to survive in the wild.

Omiros is becoming a local celebrity and is really popular with all of our visitors. He is doing a great job of educating the public about these wonderful but threatened reptiles
Curator Matt Slate

As he was unable to hunt or feed due to the severity of his injuries the decision was taken that he could not be released back into the wild.

As a result, staff at Blue Reef volunteered to provide him with a permanent retirement home.

"Everyone here is absolutely delighted with the way that he has settled in," said curator Matt Slate.

"In spite of his size and obvious strength, Omiros is actually extremely gentle although you do still have to be careful when hand feeding him as his beak is incredibly powerful.

Omiros is being fed twice a day
Omiros is being fed twice a day with foot-long squid

"We're feeding him twice a day with foot-long squid which he absolutely loves and is something of a treat, however we think after the hardships he has been through he deserves to be spoilt a little bit.

"Omiros is becoming a local celebrity and is really popular with all of our visitors. He is doing a great job of educating the public about these wonderful but threatened reptiles," he added.

Omiros has settled in so well that he has even started to sleep in the open on the sand - turtles usually wedge themselves between rocks - balancing on his front flippers with his bottom sticking up.

The Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay is one of the UK's leading turtle rescue and rehabilitation centres have successfully rescued and returned more than a dozen loggerhead turtles to the wild in recent years.




SEE ALSO
How tiny turtles make their moves
10 Feb 10 |  Science & Environment
Long-term home for blinded turtle
02 Feb 10 |  Cornwall
How the turtle's shell developed
10 Jul 09 |  Science & Environment

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