A Remarkable Rescue by the Saint Mark’s Animal Hospital and Shelter

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Just a few days ago, our partner, The Saint Mark’s Animal Hospital and Shelter in Lagos, Nigeria, was alerted to a dreadful case involving a vulnerable Olive Ridley sea turtle who had been caught by poachers for the illegal wildlife and bushmeat trade. The magnificent creature had most likely come ashore to lay her eggs, but unbeknownst to her, a group of smugglers was waiting to pounce. 

The Saint Mark’s team acted fast and with great bravery. Fortunately, they intercepted the poachers and rescued the turtle, with help from the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF). Veterinarian and Founder of Saint Mark’s, Dr Mark Ofua, found that the rescued female was in good health and safe to be released. 

Credit: Saint Mark's Animal Hosptial and Shelter

Named ‘Asake’ (“to be cherished” in the area’s prominent language of Yoruba), the rescued sea turtle was set free on a protected beach in Lagos that poachers can’t access. The touching release saw the Saint Mark’s team, NCF and delighted bystanders cheering Asake on as she waded into the ocean. 

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Olive Ridley is Vulnerable, and its population is gradually declining. If it weren’t for the dedicated work of Saint Mark’s, precious Asake would have been yet another tragic victim of the insatiable illegal wildlife trade. Nigeria has become Africa’s epicenter for illegal wildlife and bushmeat trade. A criminal cocktail of lax governance, corruption and powerful trafficking syndicates has caused rapid growth in poaching and illicit wildlife exports over recent years. 

Credit: Saint Mark’s Animal Hospital and ShelterCredit: Saint Mark's Animal Hosptial and Shelter

Saint Mark’s is the ONLY animal rescue center in Nigeria’s capital city of Lagos. Founder, Mark Ofua, has made it his mission to save as many wild animals as he can. We salute our partner for their extraordinary efforts to rescue the country’s invaluable wildlife and hope to support their worthy work for years to come. 

Please, donate to Animal Survival International today so that we can continue to assist wild animals threatened by so many perils.  

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