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Vulnerable turtle hatchlings released after successful rehabilitation
- Thursday 3rd June 2021
With the help of Brisbane Marine Pilots, Wildlife Warrior Chandler Powell and representatives from the aquarium accompanied Chompa and Terrance out to a feeder current leading into the East Australian Current for their return home to the sea.
“Chompa and Terrance are both loggerhead turtles, which are a vulnerable species, likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. They can grow up to 170 kilograms in weight!” said Dr. Ludovica Valenza, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital Supervisor.
“The greatest threat to loggerhead turtles is the loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development and human disturbances. Other threats also include entrapment in fishing line and the ingestion of plastics,” Dr. Ludovica said.
Chompa was found stranded on the beach at Point Cartwright while Terrance was seen struggling to swim in the waves at Bokarina following a storm. Thankfully, there were no injuries present on either hatchling when they arrived at the hospital.
Both hatchlings were sent to SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast at the beginning of April to gain weight and strength in preparation for releasing them back to their natural habitat.
“After showing signs of weakness initially, Terrence has gone from strength to strength in our Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Chompa’s health required more attention – the little loggerhead needed help feeding and required supplements but has since grown into a happy and healthy hatchling, ready to venture back into the ocean,” said Brittany Attwood, Veterinary Nurse at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast.
“Chompa and Terrance were looking absolutely healthy and were ready to take over life in their natural habitat. This was a highly successful release and I am so proud of our joint efforts in rehabilitating both hatchlings and preparing them for life in the wild,” said Chandler Powell.
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital operates around the clock, 365 days a year, and has treated over 100,000 animals and 10,000 koalas since opening its doors in 2004. Steve always said that if we can teach people about wildlife, we can save wildlife, and Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors is involved in several conservation projects to ensure that we can live harmoniously alongside our precious wildlife.
SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast has taken a proactive role in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine turtles since 1989. The team recently released a children’s book called Iluka the Hybrid Hatchling to raise funds to help care for sea turtles. The new book tells the true story of Iluka, a hybrid flatback and loggerhead turtle who was released back into the ocean in March 2021. Retailing at $15, 100% of profits from the sale of the book will be donated to registered charity the SEA LIFE Trust, which will in turn utilise the funds on conservation campaigns, scientific research and inspiring education – all in the name of the sea turtle. For further information, visit: www.visitsealife.com/sunshine-coast/information/news/launch-of-new-turtle-books