Cause for shell-abration

Issued: 16 Jul 2021

A massive community effort to rehabilitate three sick juvenile green turtles suffering from floating syndrome has seen the trio successfully released back into the wild – a cause for shell-abration.

University of Southern Queensland students rescued a turtle, Callistemon, who was floating in water inside a green zone in Hervey Bay on May 26.

A second turtle, Disco Sebastian, was found by locals at Tuan on May 30.

A third turtle, Jenny, was found by a local resident at Gatakers Bay on June 5.

Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast volunteers responded to each turtle and arranged transport to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

The turtles were in poor health, covered in barnacles and algae, and some also had spirorchiid fluke which is a parasite.

The trio also had floating syndrome which is where a turtle is unable to dive beneath the surface of the water and therefore cannot access food.

Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital veterinary staff assessed, treated and stabilised the turtles so they could be transported to Sea World to complete their rehabilitation.

Disco Sebastion, Jenny and Callistemon were handed over to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) staff to complete their final journey back to the ocean.

On July 7, QPWS officers loaded the trio onto a Marine Parks vessel and transported the turtles to their release location at Moon Point in the Great Sandy Marine Park.

The successful release of the trio marks a mammoth community effort involving community volunteers, QPWS, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, and Sea World.

QPWS is encouraging the community to pick up the phone and call 1300 130 372 to report a sick, injured or dead dugong, dolphin, whale and marine turtle.