Weston vet to help endangered turtles in the Maldives

Sonya Miles with a baby owl at the rescue centre she runs with her husband.

Sonya Miles with a baby owl at the rescue centre she runs with her husband. - Credit: Archant

A vet from Weston-super-Mare is flying to the Maldives to join a mission to rescue endangered turtles.

Sonya Miles, who works at Highcroft Veterinary Referrals in Bristol, is heading off on April 1 to spend two weeks helping to save Olive Ridley turtles.

The turtles, along with thousands of other animals, are becoming trapped in ghost nets where they become stressed, dehydrated and eventually die.

Sonya, who is an advanced practitioner in zoological medicine, will join fellow vets on the Indian Ocean island to treat sick and injured Olive Ridley turtles.

She said: “I will be working alongside other vets and imparting my knowledge and skills whilst also learning from residents there about injuries specific to these amazing creatures.

”April is one of the busiest times for ghost net related injuries and I expect to be on call throughout my stay helping to get these endangered turtles back on their feet again.”

Sonya will be working at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre which was opened in Baa Atoll, Maldives, in February 2017.

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It is the first fully-equipped marine turtle rescue centre on the island and has laboratory and surgical facilities as well as a full-time resident turtle veterinarian and can accommodate up to eight turtle patients at the time.

Sonya is funding her own trip and is also raising funds for the charity.

Her employer, Highcroft Veterinary Referrals, has kindly donated surgical equipment and is also paying her for one of her weeks out there as part of the volunteering package they provide to their vets.

Sonya also runs the North Somerset Reptile Rescue from her home in Weston where she cares for sick and unwanted reptiles.

She said: “My husband will be looking after all the rescued exotics while I am away, so I am confident they will receive the best of care.”

Sonya and her husband remortgaged their house to pay for an expansion for the rescue centre.

They need to raise £4,000 to finish the rebuild.

To donate to the cause visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/northsomersetreptilerescue

You can learn more about Sonya’s trip at www.facebook.com/highcroftexotivets