'Floating syndrome' occurs when gas builds up in the coloemic cavity, preventing the turtle from being able to dive beneath the surface. These turtles therefore cannot dive to get out of the way of predators and boats and cannot dive to eat, resulting in the turtle slowly starving to death.

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Turtles In Care 2015


Hawksbill turtle 

Scooby is a small juvenile turtle that was rescued from Mackay and brought to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre on 5th October. Scooby was terribly malnourished and was suffering from float, but to the Turtle Team's delight he responded well to the food that he was given and made a remarkable recovery. Scooby was released back to his home grounds in Mackay on 7th December 2015.


Green turtle 

Koko is a sub-adult that was found at Hamilton Island on the 31st of July suffering from boat strike and malnourishment. She has put on lots of weight while in care, as a result of consuming 30 pieces of squid per day. Koko made a great recovery and was released back to the waters off Catseye Beach, Hamilton Island on 18th Novemeber 2015.



Bowie was a juvenile turtle found on Crayfish Beach on 5th of Novemeber. He was extremely malnourished and sadly this poor turtle didnt make it through his first night in care.


Green turtle 

Buddha is a juvenile turtle that was found on the rock wall in Port of Airlie on the 20th of October. Buddha was covered in barnacles and after just a short stay in the Centre this little guy was lucky enough to be released by Bob Irwin when he came to visit Eco Barge on the 28th of October.


Green turtle 

Fuzzy was a large adult female that was rescued near the boat moorings at Boathaven Beach on the 19th of September. This big gal broke all of our hearts as she was definitely not in a good way, and other than providing a safe and quite place for recovery and trying to encourage her to eat, there was not much else that the Turtle Team was able to do for her. Unfortunately she died in care on the 5th of October.


Green turtle 

Rudy was a juvenile turtle that was found in the mud on a Mackay beach on 28th of September. This poor little turtle was absolutely covered in barnacles and leeches and had a slight float. Due to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre being at capacity he was transferred to the Bowen Sea Turtle Assessment and Rehabilitation (BSTAR) Facility on the 30th of September where he sadly died during his first night in care.


Hawksbill turtle 

Rob was a tiny juvenile turtle that was found floating near Abell Point Marina on the 29th of September. This poor little turtle was so severely malnourished and unfortunately died during its first night in care.


Green turtle 

Kenny was possibly the sickest turtle that we have ever received at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre. This poor little juvenile was rescued on Harbour Beach, Mackay on 22nd of August and delivered to the Centre, but unfortunately passed away after only two days in care.


Green turtle 

Amandine was a juvenile turtle that had sadly been inflicted by the horrible viral disease Fibropapilloma. She was rescued from Bluff Point on the 1st of July and remained in care at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre until she was transferred to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the 31st of July. Sadly though the condition of this little turtle was just too bad and she died in care in Cairns on the 19th of August.


Green turtle 

Diamond was rescued at the Port of Airlie boat ramp the 2nd of November 2014 suffering from a horrific boat strike injury. This gorgeous turtle was otherwise in good condition her survival depended on the severity of internal damage that she received. After three weeks at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre Diamond was transferred to Reef HQ in Townsville on the 27th of November to receive more specialised care, including an operation to remove some of her shattered backbone. Her treatment continued for many months with everyone always very positive about her prognosis, and finally on the 5th of August this amazing turtle was released back into the waters of the Whitsunday region.


Green turtle 

Midge was also a juvenile turtle, rescued from Midge Point on the 19th of June. It is believed that this little turtle may have just been basking, so he was cleaned of his barnacles and a short observation period in the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre he was released on the 2nd of July.


Green turtle 

Nicko was another juvenile turtle that was rescued from Midge Point on the 11th of June. This little guy seemed to be only slightly malnourished but looked like he was having a tough time in the horrible weather that was being experienced in the Whitsunday region at the time. Nicko had an old wound of a shark bite on his tail, suggesting he is quite the fighter, and after a little time in care was released on the 2nd of July.


Green turtle 

Gazza was a spunky little juvenile that was rescued from Laguna Quays on the 9th of June. This turtle had a slightly shrunken plastron and was covered in barnacles, but otherwise seemed healthy and had a great appetite. After a little bit of TLC and rest in the Centre he was released on the 2nd of July.


Green turtle 

Ella was a mature female, weighing in at a huge 170kg! Ella was rescued from Pioneer Bay on the 31st of May after she was noticed to be floating. After a slow and lethargic start in the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre this beautiful turtle regained her appetite and strength and was released on the 20th of June.


Loggerhead turtle 

Turtie was an extremely weak and malnourished post-hatching that was rescued from Conway Beach on the 11th of June. The survival rate of sick post-hatchlings is unfortunately not very high, and sadly even with all of the Turtle Team's flippers and fins crossed for his recovery, this little turtle passed away on the 13th of June.


Green turtle 

Anzac was found at Midge Point on the 24th of April suffering from extreme emaciation and floating syndrome. This turtle was rescued and the Turtle Team collected him from Anzac Road in Proserpine and took him to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre to receive care. Sadly Anzac was in such poor condition that he passed away on the 1st of May.


Green turtle 

Valentine was found on the 14th of February in the Mackay Harbour suffering from severe malnourishment and floating syndrome. This sick little turtle was brought directly to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre where our Turtle Team did everything they could to provide her with care. Unfortunately, Valentine was just too ill and she passed away on the 12th of March.


Green turtle 

Beyonce was a huge adult female that was rescued on Saturday 21st of February by some local fishermen that found her floating and struggling to breathe near Repulse Island. They managed to get her into their boat and the Turtle Team met them at Wilsons Beach boat ramp. She was found to have an extensive crush injury to her head and crocodile bite wounds on her neck and flipper and unfortunately died during her first night in care.


Green turtle 

Lucky is a very lucky turtle indeed, being found caught and almost drowned in a crab pot near Pigeon Island on the 11th of February. Upon arrival at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre, Lucky was given a course of antibiotics and after a few days began to recover from his ordeal. Lucky was released back near where he was found on the 20th of February.


Hawksbill turtle 

Toothless was found on New Beach at Lethybrook on the 9th of January suffering from float and extreme malnourishment. Toothless spent five days in care before sadly passing away, and will undergo a necropsy at a later date to try and determine the cause of his illness.


Green turtle 

Kankama was a beautiful, adult female weighing over 100 kilograms that was found floating off Hayman Island on the 26th of July 2014 and after being rescued, the crew aboard “Voyager” brought her to the mainland. Kankama was suffering from float and constantly tilting to one side quite dramatically. She was our longest resident in care to date, with extremely minimal activity and a lack of appetite for the first three months. However, upon regaining her love of food (gaining an impressive 12 kilograms in body weight) and eventually losing her float Kankama was released with equal amounts of joy and sadness (her in-tank antics will definitely be missed) on the 18th of January at Langford Reef.


Green turtle 

Bubble is another juvenile green turtle that was found floating and very lethargic at Hydeaway Bay on the 31st of August 2014. Closer inspection showed that Bubble was extremely malnourished and after being brought to the Centre she was put on a course of antibiotics to help fight a gut infection. With an increasing appetite, Bubble was slowly showing improvements in body condition and was transferred to Reef HQ in Townsville. After a month in care she was given a clean-bill of health and was brought back to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre where she was released at Dingo Beach on the 15th of January. 


Green turtle 

Jem is a very lucky green turtle! Found floating at the Port of Airlie terminal on the 23rd of October 2014 the risk of boat strike was incredibly high for Jem with the amount of boat traffic at this new terminal. Thankfully staff members saw this turtle before it was too late and she was taken to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre. After a course of antibiotics she started showing improvements straight away, and after losing her float and gaining 1.5 kilograms, she released on the 14th of January.


Green turtle 

Michelangelo was a large adult male that was unfortunately struck by a boat and rescued from the Port of Airlie Marina on the 29th of December 2014. He had three lacerations to the top of his carapace and one to the back of his head and was given a course of antibiotics. After just over a week in care this gorgeous turtle was transferred to Reef HQ in Townsville for assessment and further care, but sadly, a few days later Michelangelo died from the severity of the wounds sustained.


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