In February 2017, fishermen in the northern Gulf of California got an unexpected surprise when hauling in their fishing gear. An adult leatherback turtle—a male!—had become entangled in a fishing net on the north coast of Sinaloa. Thanks to years of collaboration between biologists and local fishing communities, the fishermen reported it and delivered it to their trusted colleagues at the IPN-CIIDIR Sinaloa Wildlife Program for rehabilitation because it had a series of lesions and a prolapsed reproductive organ. After the fishermen christened the 135 cm-long turtle “Enrique Laúd,” Enrique received immediate medical attention and treatment and was put on observation for a week. After the staff declared him healthy, he was released immediately to the natural environment, but not before receiving a special going-away gift: a satellite transmitter. This special transmitter has allowed the team of biologists and fishermen to follow Enrique Laúd’s migratory movements, which are revealing mysteries of these incredible turtles in the Gulf of California.
We are grateful to the fishermen who decided to help save Enrique Laúd, especially Abelino Angulo, the CIIDIR Sinaloa Wildlife Program team, our friend and colleague Catherine Hart, the PROFEPA authorities, and all those who contribute every day in their own way to sea turtle conservation.
Follow Enrique Laúd with us here: http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?tag_id=161232