In an Australian study 36% of dead turtles were found to have eaten discarded plastic and another 6% were found dead due to entanglement in rubbish.

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Turtles In Care 2014


Green turtle 

Zeta was found washed up on the rocks at Cannonvale Beach on the 27th of September. This poor juvenile green turtle was covered in barnacles, algae and silt from the water. Malnourished with a severely sunken plastron, Zeta was taken straight to the Centre where after a few days of good eating, her activity began to increase. After losing her float Zeta's mission was to put on weight and it was with great joy that we were able to release her on the 21st of December. Good luck out there Zeta!


Green turtle 

Dawn was also incredibly lucky, being found floating within the Hay Point terminal by staff on the 30th of October. After the short drive from Mackay, Dawn, another juvenile green turtle was examined and found to have an extremely sunken plastron, indicating an extended period of starvation. The temptation of squid proved too much for her to resist and she quickly improved in condition and lost her float. Dawn was then released back in Mackay on the 20th of December.


Green turtle 

Izzy was rescued from Conway Beach on the 7th August 2013, suffering both boat strike and croc bite. After three days of care at the Whitsunday Turtle Resuce Centre she was transferred to the Reef HQ Aquarian Turtle Hospital where she received care for over 15 months until her release on the 26th of November.


Green turtle 

Bumps is another juvenile green turtle that was found floating off Botanica Beach in Pioneer Bay on 28th of September. Bumps was observed to be floating from the rear end, making it impossible to dive under the water. After receiving a carapace clean and some food, Bumps became quite active and the float subsided after about a month in care. Bumps was released on the 7th of November.


Green turtle 

Bunny is a juvenile green turtle found at Mandalay Marina with numerous lesions all over the soft tissue areas such as the flippers, neck and face. After arriving at the Centre on the 4th of September the lesions were cleaned with anti-septic, but being the amazing creatures that they are, Bunny did most of the work and these lesions slowly healed from the inside out. With a healthy appetite and thirst for freedom Bunny was released on the 27th of October. 


Hawksbill turtle 

Touché is the second Hawksbill Turtle that has been rescued in Mackay, being found on the 9th of August suffering from severe float at its rear. He was covered in barnacles on its skin and coralline algae on its shell, with it discovered that he had a contracted lung. After a course of antibiotics the float subsided and after a further few weeks in care this beautiful little turtle was released on Harbour Beach in Mackay on 11th of October.


Green turtle 

Turts was found, dehydrated and lethargic, at Grassy Island on the 11th of September. A quick stay in the Centre was all this spunky turtle need though, and he was able to be released at Pioneer Bay on the 16th of September.


Green turtle 

Ross was found at Abel Point Marina, where staff there noticed this little turtle floating and looking quite weak on the 11th of August. Again there was algal growth covering the shell and head, which has been removed while in our care. This precious turtle became a quick favourite due to his spunky nature, but he unfortunately stopped eating after a month in care and after deteriorating in condition very quickly, died in care. 


Green turtle 

Shute was found (surprisingly) at the Shute Harbour Marina on the 12th of July floating at the surface and unable to dive. After being placed in care, Shute's health unfortunately quickly declined and she passed away within just a few hours. The cause of this sudden and unfortunate death may be revealed when the necropsy is undertaken.


Green turtle 

Buddy was a lovely little green turtle found on the 4th of July at Hayman Island. This turtle had a severe laceration across the top of its head the cause of which is unknown. A visit to the veterinary clinic revealed that the skull was fractured and one eye likely to be inoperable. Buddy was transferred to the Reef HQ in Townsville on the 9th of July, where the sad decision was made for him to be euthanised.  


Green turtle 

Talep was another juvenile green turtle that was rescued from Midge Point on the 10th of June. Unfortunately this sweet little turtle was suffering from a spirorchid in the brain and died after five days in care. 


Green turtle 

Destiny is a lovely little juvenile green turtle that we received into care on the 2nd of June. She was found at Midge Point suffering from Fibropapilloma, a horrible viral disease that is unfortunately impacting many green turtle populations around the world. Destiny was only in care at the Centre for three days before being transported to Cairns to receive the best care possible with Jenni Gilbert at Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Unfortuntely after trying everything the sad decision was made for this turtle to be euthanised.


Green turtle 

Delilah is a beautiful adult female green turtle, weighing in at more than 100 kilograms and thought to be as old as 80! Delilah was rescued from Pioneer Bay on 25th April suffering a nasty boat strike, although it looked like quite an old injury that had already begun to heal. She had an extremely healthy appetite and after her float dissipated she was released back into the Whitsunday waters on the 13th June. Unfortunately though her float re-appeared and she was rescued again on the 17th July. Her condition was obviously much worse than her first time in care and after 12 days she was transported to Reef HQ in Townsville where after months in care the sad decision was made to euthanise this beautiful turtle. 


Green turtle 

Clayton was rescued from the Port of Airlie boat ramp on 27th March. Clayton was covered in barnacles and suffering from float, but within a few days in care developed a great appetite and soon after was able to dive and swim normally within the tank. Clayton was kept for another couple of weeks to ensure full-strength and was bursting to be released when he was taken out to Trammel Bay, opposite of Long Island on the 11th April.


Flatback turtle 

Lincoln was rescued from Mackay and transported to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre on 28th February and after initially doing quite well, unfortunately died in care on 9thMarch. An additional four flatback post-hatchlings were also rescued and provided care at the Centre. Sadly though, each of these turtles also died within a few days in care. These turtles were all transported to JCU in Townsville to undergo analysis and necropsy, and while cause of death is still being determined, preliminary findings show that all turtles had digested a large amount of pumice stone and pieces of plastic. Such an unprecedented number of post-hatchlings being found on beaches in the Whitsunday and Mackay regions is quite worrying, but not much is known about turtles at this age so it is difficult to know what might be happening.


Green turtle 

Henrietta was an incredibly sick green turtle that was also found in Mackay and transported to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre on 19th February 2014. Sadly, Henrietta did not make it through the first night in care, with this result unfortunately needing to be expected at times as some of the turtles will have been sick for a long time before actually being rescued. This turtle will be necropsied at a later date this year.


Green turtle 

Kay was another fantastic success story, having been found floating near South Molle Island August 2013. Kay received care at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre for one week, before being transported to Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital for further care. After a total of six months in care, Kay returned to full health and was brought back down to Airlie Beach and released on the 16th February on South Molle Island.

Marine debris removed from the
Whitsunday islands since July 2009
= 174,764 kilograms