Born Free USA Global Field Projects
(Born Free Foundation photograph
by Derya Yildirim)
Derya Yildirim, who was the Born Free Foundation site manager for the "Back to the Blue" project, and is now working on the post-release monitoring, reports with the latest news on Tom and Misha:
It is over a month now since Tom and Misha were released back to the wild. (May 9). Both dolphins, following their initial separation after release, continue to adapt to their "wildlife" in different locations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Misha has been swimming around between Antalya and Cyprus, which is on the southern side of Turkey. From his moving pattern, which is tracked by the satellite tag, we can say that he remains active. The "Back to the Blue" team will soon try and track him via his VHF tag so that we can get more data on his progress and also, if possible, obtain some visual observations.
Meanwhile, Tom has been swimming around the Kusadasi area, which is one of the more popular touristic towns. Following his initial arrival into this area, tourists and fishermen did, on several occasions, try and approach him. The team therefore undertook a huge public awarness campaign in the area with the help of local nongovernmental organization EKODOSD. Since then the attention on Tom has reduced and we hope that soon, he will start to move away. Tom’s satellite signals continue to come from the same area but different spots; however, there were no visuals on him nearly for a week.