Six endangered marine turtles, including two critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles, have been released back into the ocean today following a period of intense rehabilitation and care at the rescue centre at Dolphin Marine Magic.
Greg Pickering, senior curator of Animal Care at the park, said “The two Hawksbill Turtles, along with the other four Green Sea Turtles, were rescued from local beaches along the Coffs Coast and brought to us for rehabilitation. They have to come to us for a variety of reasons, fishing line entanglement is becoming increasing frequent however the main cause for problems with turtles remains float syndrome. When turtles get float they can’t dive down which means they can’t feed and even if the turtles don’t succumb to starvation they still become susceptible to shark attack, boat strike or overheating. ”
Pickering continued “After several months of rehabilitation and care, these turtles are ready to head back to ocean and hopefully reproduce one day to increase turtle numbers in the wild.”
Assisting in the release of the turtles was officers from NSW Fisheries and Merri Pedler, a Bachelor of Science student from Flinders University in Adelaide who is currently volunteering at Dolphin Marine Magic as part of the intern program.
This turtle release is part of the ongoing conservation work carried out by Dolphin Marine Magic who spends at least $100,000 a year alone on wild animal rehabilitation. The park rescues, rehabilitates and releases around 100 marine animals each year, is the only facility in NSW which is licenced to rehabilitate dolphins and small whales and has successfully rescued and released three dolphins in the past three years.