Yoshi the turtle finds home in Australia

Posted on 2 September 2020

Yoshi the loggerhead sea turtle seems to have found her home range along the Eighty Mile Beach in Western Australia and is travelling less than before. Over the past two months, she has covered an average of 12km a day, much less than the 42-48 km/day she was cruising at before her arrival at Eighty Mile Beach.

Yoshi is a female loggerhead turtle.

This lead the Two Oceans Aquarium to believe that Yoshi is now comfortable and living in familiar waters, awaiting the Western Australian loggerhead mating season – definitely worth the 40 011km journey!

The turtle is fitted with a Wildlife Computers Spot tag and ARGOS satellite telemetry, used for data analysis through Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS).

Yoshi was released off Cape Point in 2017, 20 years after she was rescued by a Japanese fishing vessel and handed over to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. Her 982-day voyage since release might very well be one of the greatest journeys and ocean crossings ever recorded.

Experts believe she might be originally from Austalia’s coast. The most likely explanation for her ending up near South Africa is that she might have followed the currents from Shark Bay or Ningaloo in Western Australia towards Madagascar, and was found during her ‘lost years’ journey in this area before being brought to South Africa aboard the fishing vessel.

‘It has been such a privilege to be part of this remarkable adventure, part of it with Yoshi, and part of it cheering her along from Cape Town. I am thrilled that she has found a safe area to call home (for now),’ said Maryke Musson of the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, who has been tracking Yoshi since her release.

‘The Aussies have been superb hosts to Yoshi, and now I believe they are family,’ Musson continued. ‘I am hoping her tag will last for a few more months so we can finally see whether she is going to contribute to the loggerhead population at the nesting sites about 1 300 km west of her. She has proven to be a superior athlete, so this is a distance that she can cover well before summer.’

‘This certainly isn’t the end of Yoshi’s incredible journey, but we are drawing near to end of our ability to monitor her,’ Two Oceans wrote. ‘Whatever she decides to do, one thing is sure – South Africa hasn’t seen the last of the Yoshi family. Hamba kahle, Yoshi!’

Source: Two Oceans Aquarium

Image credit: Twitter/World Association Zoos & Aquariums

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