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Highly Commended
Olivia Areeya Harvey 

Nia swam rapidly towards her.

 

“Hey, Layla, come and look!” she called urgently. “There’s a creature down there, trapped on the reef.”

 

Layla held her breath and followed her friend below the waves. Layla and Nia were best friends and had gone on holiday together in Hawaii with Nia’s uncle and Layla’s dad. They had always dreamed of becoming great travelling vets. They often helped injured animals that they found in their gardens but they had never helped an aquatic creature before.

 

As they dived down, they saw and eerie biofluorescent glow amongst the staghorn coral. There, they saw a tiny seahorse bound to the coral by a long, tangled length of fishing wire, its neon colours bright against the plain yellow plant. The seahorse’s skin had been cut by the sharp plastic and its energy had been drained from desperate struggles.

 

Layla quickly got to work with her steel hair clip whilst Nia swam to her uncle’s boat to grab something sharper to speed the process. Nia soon returned with a pair of scissors and quickly started to help Layla. It was like trying to cut the right wire to stop a bomb. Nia and Layla held their breath for long periods of time but the still had to return to the surface 3 or 4 times before the seahorse was finally free.

 

The creature was badly injured so they had it in a bucket to take to their local vet.

 

This adventure inspired Nia and Layla to travel round their community putting up posters to help endangered animals.

 

Nia and Layla grew up to the vets they always aspired to be and they saved hundreds of injured and sick animals.