Rescued Sea Turtle Sadly Dies in Care

Wednesday, 28 Nov, 2018

THE GREEN SEA TURTLE rescued by Sea Shepherd’s Apex Harmony crew on Monday has sadly passed away whilst in care.

- The turtle was found whilst Apex Harmoy crew monitoring Queensland Shark Control Program equipment
- She attempted to dive but kept floating to the surface
- She had three deep gashes in her carapace
- Delivered to QPWS who took her to the only Gold Coast turtle hospital
- She passed away in the tank during the night due to the severity of injuries

Everyone involved did the best they could for this turtle which was named “Budgial” by her carers.

Our crew was out on the water to monitor the drumlines of the Queensland Shark Control Program when we spotted this turtle not far off Amity, North Stradbroke Island. We always stop for the turtles in case they have float syndrome – a condition that develops as a result of eating plastic and is a huge problem for sea turtles. If the turtle dives, then all is ok and we continue on.

We noticed that when this turtle tried to dive, she just kept floating back to the surface, rear end first. It was then that we noticed the three large gashes in her shell, a clear sign of propeller strike.

After many calls, we got onto the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service with whom we arranged a pick up. We would like to acknowledge the great service from the QPWS ranger who carefully transported the turtle to the Rescue Centre at Sea World. All involved did their very best for this poor animal.

The lessons that can be learned from this is that many animals occupy the surface levels of the ocean including turtles, dugongs, rays, dolphins and whales. Boat drivers must exercise great care when traversing their areas. This includes driving at appropriate speeds and maintaining an effective lookout.

Sick and injured Sea Turtles can be reported to:

- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service whose Moreton Bay Duty Ranger can be contacted on 0427 753 683
- RSPCA can connect callers to rescuers via 1300 ANIMAL
- For the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay, sick turtles are treated by Sea World’s Rescue Centre and the Sunshine Coast is covered by Australia Zoo. In Northern NSW, Australian Seabird Rescue have a turtle hospital in Ballina.

Image Caption: This green sea turtle suffered deep wounds from a boat propeller that split open her shell. Despite rescue efforts, she did not survive as her injuries were too severe (Photo: Shaun Mullins/Sea Shepherd). 

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