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Rescued and rehabilitated, Nala the turtle loves the Zinkwazi vibe

It is estimated she has travelled more than 1 000km since her release.

Three months have passed since Nala the green sea turtle was released at Zinkwazi, and it seems she likes it here, making the North Coast her home for now.

Ann Kunz of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research, said Nala was released on December 15 after several weeks in rehabilitation at uShaka Sea World’s sea turtle “hospital”.

She was injured after becoming entangled in a fishing net.

After her successful rehabilitation, the turtle was set free at Zinkwazi with a satellite tag fitted.

“We do not often get the opportunity of tagging large green turtles along our coastline,” Kunz said, noting they do not nest locally.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about their oceanic journeys along the southern African coastline.”

According to Kunz, however, Nala seems to love the local coastline and has for the time being settled in.

“She has obviously taken to the sub-tropical local climate, particularly the area between Zinkwazi and Tugela Mouth and spends most of her time in a 100km2 area along the 9km stretch of coastline between the two coastal villages.”

It is estimated she has travelled more than 1 000km in total since her release.

“We love how ‘residential’ she is at the moment. It is post-nesting season, so she might very well enjoy this area until early summer before heading up the coast to some nesting sites in Mozambique and beyond.”

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