The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rescued an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) in the waters of Manila Bay, Port Area, Manila.

The PCG immediately sent a message to the DENR National Capital Region through its social media account requesting the retrieval of the turtle. Said message was relayed to the West Field Office (WFO) who right away dispatched a team of Environmental Protection Officers (EPO) to the PCG substation at Pier 13 in South Harbor, Port Area, Manila.

The turtle was then taken to the Wildlife Rescue Center at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City for a health checkup and assessment. According to the veterinarians who received the turtle, the Olive Ridley is a male and weighs 32.8 kilograms. They likewise estimated the age of the turtle to be around 20 to 25 years old.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles have an average life span of 50 years in the wild and grow up to 2.5 feet. It got its name from the generally greenish color of its skin and shell or carapace. They are found only in warmer waters, including the southern Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

In the Philippines, Olive Ridley turtles have been found to occur nationwide, with nesting sites recorded on the western coast of Luzon (Bataan and Zambales). The turtle, however, is categorized as “vulnerable” under the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because of an observed 30 to 50 percent reduction in its global population size. According to experts, the decline is due primarily to hunting and poaching, as well as the degradation of nesting sites and habitats. Ocean pollution and unintended catching in fishing gear are also among the causes of the vulnerable status of the turtle. Vulnerable species found in Manila Bay are one of the reasons why DENR launched the

Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program is an inter-agency effort to clean, rehabilitate and protect Manila Bay.