After spending 20 years in the care of humans, Yoshi, the loggerhead turtle, is on her own. In her first month of freedom, the 183kg marine reptile has travelled nearly 1 000 km – and she’s swimming towards Namibia.
Yoshi was released 27 nautical miles south-west of Hout Bay on 16 December 2017.
She is fitted with a tag that is monitored by satellite by Two Oceans Aquarium team, who are able to track her movements every time she surfaces for air.
Loggerhead turtles are found all around the world, so there’s no guessing where she’ll go next. All indications are that Yoshi is a strong swimmer and in good health, so her invisible guardians at the aquarium are confident she will be ok.
The ocean is a dangerous place for the turtle though, and Yoshi’s biggest danger is posed by humans, and commercial fisheries in particular. Turtles suffocate in fishing trawls. Yoshi has already avoided two fishing areas with trawl lines.
She has travelled at an average distance of 30km per day since her release. She spent New Year relaxing offshore, only travelling 3,5km between 31 December and 1 January.