Turtles released into the wild following rehab

Issued: 14 Sep 2021

The Department of Environment and Science and Sea World have released four lucky turtles back into the wild after the animals were treated for a number of issues at Sea World on the Gold Coast.

Marine Park Ranger Natalie Sands said it is always a thrill to return animals to the marine environment.

“I’d like to thank Sea World for their tireless work in rehabilitating the turtles and preparing them to be released,” Ms Sands said.

“Two green turtles, one hawksbill turtle and one loggerhead turtle were released back into the wild at Amity Banks in Moreton Bay Marine Park.

“The two green turtles spent a few weeks at SeaWorld recovering from “floating syndrome”, meaning they were unable to dive far below the surface.

The loggerhead turtle was rescued around a year ago and was badly entangled in old fishing line, which had also caused a number of injuries.

“The hawksbill was found in May with an injury believed to be from a boat strike.

“Once they were healthy again, all four were tagged and returned to the ocean at Amity Banks, which is an important habitat for turtles.”

Sea World veterinarian, Dr Claire Madden said it was a proud moment to see the turtles returned back to Moreton Bay area after giving them the clean bill of health.

“It is always a happy occasion when we can rescue, rehabilitate and release any animal and our team was incredibly proud to join the QPWS team in the release efforts of these four turtles,” Dr Madden said.

“It was especially pleasing to release the large loggerhead turtle who had spent over a year rehabilitating with us at Sea World after having a flipper amputated due to the severity of his injuries.

“We would like to thank QPWS, Coastguard and the many community groups and members of the public who have helped with the rescue operations of some of these turtles or alerted us to their whereabouts.”

Ms Sands said watching the turtles swim away was an amazing moment for the rangers and Sea World staff on board the vessels.

“It was extremely satisfying for all involved to see the turtles swim away without looking back,” she said.

“They were ready to go, and we’re hoping they can grow old and avoid any other human-related injuries or entanglements.

“August was a busy month for marine animal strandings in Moreton Bay with rangers receiving more than 60 reports.

“Boaties are reminded to know the zoning rules within the Moreton Bay Marine Park, and pay particular attention to the designated Go Slow areas, where vessels are not permitted to travel on the plane.”

To report injured or deceased turtles, or other injured marine wildlife, call the hotline on 1300 130 372.

Find more information on Go Slow areas, and other zones within Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Footage of the release is available from our Media Centre.