After months of rehabilitation, six sea turtles have been released into the Pacific Ocean today, after being treated and cared for by the animal team at Underwater World Sea Life Mooloolaba
The six turtles, affectionately named Superbowl, Dingo, Crush, Regi, Pita and Rafael, were taken in to SEA LIFE Mooloolaba at varying times over the last four months after they were found in the area either floating or malnourished.
Hawksbill turtle Superbowl was found at Cotton Tree Park with fishing line and a hook in its mouth in early February, while green turtle Dingo also arrived at the attraction in February after being found floating and covered in barnacles at Bribie Island.
The remaining four green turtles were found very emaciated and weak at Coolum Beach, Beachmere and Donnybrook.
SEA LIFE Mooloolaba’s Animal Health Manager Emily Thomas said the injured animals were placed in care at the attraction’s turtle hospital before being moved into the Turtle Temple zone for their final stage of recovery.
“We’re very excited to see these animals return to the wild – unfortunately some don’t make it, so the animal team are overjoyed when we are able to get improve their health and release them again,” she said.
“It’s great to see that people continue to call SEA LIFE Mooloolaba when they encounter distressed turtles, so that we can help care for them.
“We encourage anyone who sees a turtle washed up on the beach to call us instead of putting them back into the water. This way we can assess whether they need to be treated in a controlled environment before going back into the ocean.”
SEA LIFE Mooloolaba has been involved in rehabilitating sea turtles for many years, investing into the Ocean Tank and the Turtle Temple zone in 2012, which has become an integral part of the attraction’s marine conservation program.
After working with governing bodies to rehabilitate sea turtles for many years, SEA LIFE Mooloolaba recently opened a new Turtle Hospital dedicated to rehabilitating sick or injured turtles and implementing new turtle health checks.
“SEA LIFE Mooloolaba has cared for almost 900 sick or injured turtles over the past 25 years and we can’t stress enough the importance of putting rubbish in the bin and keeping waterways clean,” Ms Thomas said.
“In line with SEA LIFE’s strong ethical and environmental values BREED, RESCUE and PROTECT, the entire team is committed to keeping the environment clean to protect marine animals.”
If you see a turtle that is sick, injured or in distress, please contact SEA LIFE Mooloolaba (07) 5458 6280 or The Department of Environment and Resource Management on 1-300-264-625.