Lost at Christmas. A Turtle's Story.
Christmas is a stressful time for many. But it’s also a joyous time where we come together with our loved ones and appreciate everything we have in our lives.
We often hear tales of Christmas miracles at this time of year. We here in Carna experienced our very own in an unusual turn of events involving the rescue of an aquatic animal not resident on our shoreline.
A young loggerhead turtle is being nursed back to health following its discovery on our doorstep here in Mweenish Beach, Carna.
The female turtle, not native to our waters, washed up as a result of the Atlantic storms that have ravaged the coast in recent months.
Siobhan Kennedy and Mark South, quick thinking local heroes found her and brought her to the Atlantiquaria, in Salthill, Galway - a lucky strike to have nearby, where the professionals can care for the hypothermic turtle. The Atlantiquaria team is very confident that the turtle can be saved with rehydration and warmth.
Sadly her arrival here in Ireland is the result of something quite troubling. Climate change is happening, and primarily, we see it in the changing weather patterns and news of fires and floods around the world.
This year's mild autumn and the storms are becoming regular and more frequent. Here in Ireland, we often experience power cuts, flooding and fallen trees.
The turtle discovered is one individual who had a tragic climate change experience.
She was pulled out from her home ecosystem and taken by the waves against her will, ending up on the cold beach here in Connemara. Hypothermic and far away from home, she is a reminder of all we still need to do in order to tackle the climate crisis, which by no means is the turtles, or our fault.
Thankfully Mark and Siobhan were there to save her and give her the best chance to recover this Christmas.
The turtle has been nicknamed Mac Dara after the patron saint of the south Connemara parish of Moyrus.
Mac Dara is believed to offer protection to sailors, fishermen and all who brave stormy seas and this seems to also apply to lost Turtle's.
For those of you looking to keep up with Mac Daras welfare Galway Atlantiquaria will be posting updates on Mac Daras recovery on their Facebook page.