The Two Oceans Aquarium and Greg Bertish are teaming up to, through the Great Optimist Race, raise funds for those in need, whether they are little children, or little turtles.  The Great Optimist Race will take place on 20 October in the V&A Waterfront and will see the Two Oceans Aquarium partaking alongside charities such as the NSRI, the Children’s Hospital Trust and Newborns Trust. Donations are encouraged and can be made online at https://www.givengain.com/cc/projectturtle/

Bertish, one of the greatest optimists of all and a huge inspiration, is a close friend of the Two Oceans Aquarium and founder of the Little Optimist Trust. In April 2016 he sailed an 8-foot children’s optimist dinghy around the Cape of Storms. He crossed False Bay, rounded Cape Point and headed for Langebaan Lagoon on the West Coast. His 200km journey matched the 200 days he had spent in hospital fighting life-threatening heart infections.

“As ocean passionate optimists we are thrilled to be part of the Great Optimist Race this year, raising funds for sick kids through the Little Optimist Trust, but also for sick turtles cared for by the team at the Aquarium. Every year a number of compromised, weak and very cold little turtles wash up on our beaches, and with the help from kind and caring people we get to rehabilitate these amazing ocean travellers back to health and ready for release. The Great Optimist Race is going to be a fun ‘race’ celebrating hope, healing, caring, giving and protecting. Keep an eye out for our happy little Nemo Opti, which will continue to inspire kids for many years to come”, said Maryke Musson, Curator of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

The aim is to raise at least R150 000 in order to make a difference in the lives of those who due to circumstances or illness are vulnerable, ill, and in need. All donations are tax deductible under section 18A and proceeds will be shared between the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation and the Little Optimist Trust.

About the Two Oceans Aquarium Turtle Rehabilitation and Release Programme:

The Two Oceans Aquarium rescues and rehabilitates sea turtles in preparation for their release back into the warm ocean. The turtles range in size from 20g up to 80kg. Rehabilitation can last from a couple of months, to more than a year, depending on the needs of each individual, as some are not only suffering from hypothermia, but are also injured and require specialized treatment.

On average, the rehabilitation cost of a hatchling is R27 per day, which covers basic veterinary care, food, supplements and staff costs. Some individual turtles however, need more comprehensive treatment, which could include extensive bloodwork, MRI and CAT scans. The aim of the Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release programme is to care for and rehabilitate each and every turtle that enters the programme, and facilitate its ultimate release.

For more information about the Two Oceans Aquarium Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release programme, as well as the Great Optimist race, please see www.aquarium.co.za

For more information about the Two Oceans Aquarium Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release programme, as well as the Great Optimist race, please see www.aquarium.co.za