Submitted by Steve on 11:43, 23rd May, 2014 | 0

Today is World Turtle Day and the GSPCA is remembering this by reflecting on a Green Turtle the Animal Shelter rescued 11 years ago this year.

On the 13th January 2003 a live Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) was stranded on the west coast of Guernsey.

Elliot Green and his son who were playing football and Mary Harrison discovered a turtle that afternoon on Grandes Roques Beach and reported it to the Animal Shelter.

Geoff George Animal Collection Officer and Yvonne Chauvel Senior Animal Care Assistant who both still work at the Shelter collected the turtle who was suffering from hypothermia, and after it had been treated by veterinarian John Knight BVetMed, MRCVS transported it to the Guernsey Aquarium in St. Peter Port.

Green Turtles can grow up to 5 feet (153cm) in length and weigh up to 452 lbs (205 kg).  Myrtle (also known as GT1) as Shelter staff named the Green Turtle found in 2003 was 75cm long and 68cm wide. 

Myrtle was found where our ambient sea temperatures at that time are only 9C but they live in waters where they are normally 20C.  Their normal range is the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans where they are found in warm tropical waters from New England to South Africa and from Western Africa to the Americas.  It is extremely unusual to see Green Turtles around the British Isles and therefore when Myrtle arrived a plan to get her back to where she belonged had to begin.

During the Spring of 2003 Myrtle was declared fit enough to travel and was transported to a special rehabilitation centre in Gran Canaria and thanks at the time went to the Guernsey Aquarium, Vet John Knight, Specsavers 9who kindly loaned their new at the time Kingair 350), Tom Scott, Mary Harrison, the Marine and section and all of  those involved at the time.

A special thanks at the time went to Rod Penrose of Marine Environmental Monitoring in the UK and Peter Richardson from the Marine Conservation Society who flew over at the time and of course Pascual Calabuig and his team at the rehabilitation centre.

Before Myrtle was released a lot of data was collected and samples of DNA.  She was even microchipped and was finally released on the 4th April 2003 off the coast of Gran Canaria.

Yvonne Chauvel Senior Animal Care Assistant said today ‘It was wonderful to rescue Myrtle over 11 years ago although when we were on route we thought it was going to be a seal pup.’

‘It is rare to get to see them in the wild let alone rescue one and my hope is that she is still out there somewhere.’

Geoff George Animal Collection Officer said ‘Green Turtles can live for up to 80 to 100 years that we know of so there is a chance she could still be out there and more importantly breeding.’

‘We rescue a lot of marine life and just this year we have seen many Razorbills, CormorantsGrey Seal Pups, Guillemots, a Puffin and many more.

‘It is the most rewarding part of the job seeing these wild animals returned to where they belong.’

If you would like to help sponsor the work of the Shelter please check this link by clicking here.

John Knight vet with the Green Turtle rescued by the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey before being returned to Gran CanariaJohn Knight vet and Ian Power with Myrtle the Green Turtle rescued by the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey before being returned to Gran CanariaJayne Le Cras Director of Operations at the GSPCA in 2003 and Pascual Calabuig from the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre with Myrtle the Green Turtle rescued by the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey before being released in Gran Canaria

Here are some links to those that helped the GSPCA at the time -


We have lots of animals in need of homes. Could you help us advertise them? To download a the posters please click here. or to share them on social media please click here.

To download a poster to advertise the Hedgehog Competition please click here.

To download a poster to advertise the Hedgehog Awareness Poster Competition please click here.

Create a GSPCA Awareness Poster for Hedgehogs

Age groups –

4 – 7 years old (infants)

7 – 11 years old (juniors)

Some ideas could include:

Watch out for hedgehogs on the road waking up from hibernation

Hedgehogs out in the day time could mean there is something wrong

Please put out clean drinking water for hedgehogs over the summer

Check for hedgehogs before cutting the lawn/grass

Discard of rubbish properly - especially netting/wires

Make sure your swimming pool/pond is easily escapable

Do not put slug pellets down as they are poisonous

Don't touch a nest until sure you need to intervene

Cut holes in fence bottoms to allow hedgehogs to pass through gardens

Watch your dogs around hedgehogs- either one could get hurt

Other points to add:

Phone GSPCA for advice/emergency: 01481 257261

Advice on the GSPCA Webpage-


Prizes for the top 3 in each age group.

Send your posters with your name, age, contact number and school on the back to [email protected] or to the Shelter at

Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Rue du Truchots
St Andrews
Guernsey, Channel Islands

Closing date 6/6/14. Winners will be announced on the 13/6/14

Build a Hedgehog House

2014 Competition

Design and build a hedgehog house to be used in your own or friends garden!

There are two age group categories:

7 to 11 years (Junior age)

11 to 16 years (secondary age)

The top three from each group will be contacted to be judged and there are PRIZES for the top 3 designs in each group!

The house structure must be:


- Big enough to make a nest

- Safe from predators

- Camouflaged

What could you use to build the house?

 - Logs                          

- Old plastic box

- Bricks

- Wood

- Pots

- Anything else - Be as creative as you like!

Try the internet and our website for more inspiration!

Last thing to do is take a beautiful photograph then email it to us along with your age, full name and contact number to:

[email protected]

Closing date 6/6/14. Winners will be announced on the 13/6/14

Good luck and have fun!

Please be careful when building your hog houses

 Work with an adult to put it together as you may need to use grown-up tools

We currently have two stunning cats called Trio and Trouble needing operations. To donate to help them please click on this link, call 01481 257261, by post or popping into the Shelter.

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD

To find out about our Events, how to become a Member, Sponsor an Animal Pen, our Wish List, Corporate Sponsorship & Volunteering, , our New Build & Redevelopment Appeal and much more please click here.

To find out about GSPCA training and courses at the Shelter please click here.

There are many ways to support the work of the GSPCA and you can even donate online by clicking the paypal link below.

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

Have you liked us on facebook yet or joined us on twitter?

Like GSPCA Guenrsey Animal Shelter on facebookFollow the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey on twitter


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