Turtle travels from Karpathos to Athens

· wildlife
broken image

Animal Welfare Karpathos is about all animals in need, no matter how great or small they may be. We value life in all of its forms.  Whether they are domesticated animals or wildlife, we try our best to assist where we can. As a small team of volunteers, we have assisted with countless cases since the official founding of AWK, and even more cases since our collective volunteer work of over 20 years. 

The case of this turtle highlights the importance of keeping wild animals in nature where they truly belong, and the need for better regulations to protect their wellbeing from illegal pet ownership and trade. This turtle was found on a private property, two weeks ago. After successful a initial rehabilitation care by Roula Katogiritis, under my supervision, the beautiful animal was sent to Athens at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center called ANIMA

The goal? To release her back to her natural environment following proper protocols of re introduction. This animal was most likely kept wrongfully as a pet, and was transported to Karpathos by humans as it is not part of Karpathos'  fauna. 

Testudo marginata is one of 3 species of terrestial wild turtles found in Greece.  This specific species is mainly found in Northern Greece and some islands. They are most active during Sping and Summer and during daylight time. Often times, people will remove these animals from their natural ecosystems and keep them illegally as a pets, or even worse sell it them herpetologists and enthusiasiasts abroad.  As a species, they live solely on a vegetarian diet and normally choose from the over 200 plant species of their natural ecosystems. For this reason, diets which are often provided by those who keep them as pets are deficient in nutrients and inapproproriate. 

Some of the major threats for these animals are: 

  • Illegal pet trade
  • Development of cities and destruction of their natural habitats
  • Fires 

We urge everyone to please not engage wild animals unless they are in need of medical assistance. If this is the case then please contact a wildlife rehabilitator or a veterinarian. Do not attempt to rehabilitate wild animals on your own without guidance, as this can be detrimental to their recovery. Wild animals can easily become stressed when handled by humans and their care requires additional training. If you find a wild animal in need, or if you see wild animals kept in cages please contact your local animal welfare organization, as well as ANIMA in Athens. They are truly wonderful in guiding everyone on how to safely capture and trasport wild animals to their facilities. 

Contact information for ANIMA:

134 Menelaou, Kallithea 17676, Greece

+30 210 951 0075


For this case, we would like to thank Alkistis Kyriakou and the volunteers of ANIMA for assisting with the identification and providing basic guidelines of care. 

Animal Welfare Karpathos is a registered non profit organization based on Karpathos island, Greece. AWK relies 100% on volunteers to carry out its life saving work. If you would like to donate or volunteer please visit contact us via email at info@AnimalWelfareKarpathos.com. Please note that we receive a high volume of requests to assist with animals in need on the island. We are, unfortunately, not able to assist with all of them due to our small team of volunteers.