A Teary Yet Joyous Day on Vomo Island: Flip and Oh-Jo Return to Their Ocean Home
Today marked an exceptionally emotional moment in the island’s history. The day was tinged with excitement and a touch of melancholy as the island witnessed the release of two turtles under the devoted care of Vomo’s conservationists for the past 18 months.
These weren’t just any turtles – they were our beloved Flip and Oh-Jo. Isa!
Laisenia, Whyce, and the dedicated team at Ocean Play have tirelessly cared for these sea creatures ever since they came to Vomo as injured babies. Their commitment and the love they showered upon these turtles is genuinely commendable. Today, the fruits of their labour were evident as the healthy and spirited turtles prepared to make their way back to the vastness of the ocean.
This was Vomo Island’s first turtle release in 15 years. The achievement isn’t just about the freedom but the meticulous care and nurturing Flip and Oh-Jo received over this year and a half. Their journey from fragile babies to strong juveniles ready to explore the ocean symbolises the unmatched dedication of the Ocean Play crew.
A respectful traditional Fijian ceremony was played out, complete with the Lali drum and warriors. Two young guests on the island, Emma and Maeve, were bestowed with the honour of releasing Flip and Oh-Jo back into their oceanic home. Seeing these young girls gently assisting the release of the turtles and then watching as Flip and Oh-Jo took their first swim into freedom was genuinely heartwarming.
This event underscores the importance of turtle conservation efforts on Vomo Island. Turtles, being an integral part of marine biodiversity, face numerous threats, ranging from pollution to poaching. Vomo’s endeavour to rescue, rehabilitate, and release turtles is a testament to the island’s commitment to preserving the natural wonders and the delicate balance of marine life.
As we reminisce about today’s event, it serves as a beacon of hope, a story of triumph, and a testament to what dedication, love, and care can achieve. As long as it is required, Vomo Island will continue to be a guardian of marine life.
Vinaka to all guests who participated today – your patronage assists us in continuing important environmental conservation programs such as this.
To Flip and Oh-Jo, may the oceans be kind and may you ride the currents with freedom and grace. Come visit soon!