Bheni
Photo Credit: Google Earth / Two Oceans Aquarium

Bheni has left the comforts of Southern Africa and set his path to the tropics beyond Mauritius.

 

Cape Town, South Africa (13 May 2024) – It is up, up and away for Bheni the Green Turtle. It has been several months since Bheni the Green Turtle was released in the De Hoop Marine Protected Area and he is really loving the wide open ocean. The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation have shared an update on where Bheni is at the moment.

Bheni was the first turtle fitted with a satellite tag to be released in the incredible Marine Protected Area (MPA) of De Hoop, thanks to the generosity of the Morukuru Family and the Morukuru Goodwill Foundation. He was released on the 8th of December, 2023, and has travelled a fair distance.

According to the team, Bheni took his time adjusting to his freedom and spent his first week exploring De Hoop. He then moved a little further offshore (no more than 50km) and headed westward, past Cape Agulhas and False Bay, making a sharp southward turn just 95km south of Cape Point. Now, Bheni’s update shows that he is making huge strides up and away from Southern Africa.

“Bheni spent nearly two months in the Agulhas Current, utilising its speed to gain significant distance into the Indian Ocean. In early March, Bheni began to deviate from this current, turning in a North-easterly direction. If you look at the topography (landscape) of the ocean floor, it is quite clear that Bheni was following the line of the Southwest Indian Ridge!

Ridge lines are like underwater mountain ranges and are generally areas of greater ocean productivity. This is because of a process called upwelling: Nutrient-rich water from the deep, cold ecosystems at the “foothills” of the ridge lines is pushed up into the warmer surface water, fertilising these waters and making them a haven for turtle food sources. Hopefully, Bheni was snacking substantially as he was swimming!

Currently, Bheni is 900km east of Mauritius – this is a seriously tropical territory with a water temperature of 27°C! To date, Bheni has travelled an impressive 8 080km. This averages 53.8km per day, which is the same daily distance he was covering a month ago.

It is remarkable to witness Bheni’s movements as he maintains his speed and covers great distances. This prompts the question: Does he have a destination in mind or is he just enjoying his freedom?” -Talitha Noble-Trull, Conservation Manager at the Turtle Conservation Centre

You can see all the other turtle’s journeys here.


Sources: TOA
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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