30 Nov 2018

A critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle dubbed Barnacle Bill has been released back into the wild after rehabilitating at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre.

Found washed up at Midge Point beach in July, Barnacle Bill was extremely weak and covered in mud and barnacles. It soon became apparent that he was suffering from ‘float’ – a condition that causes air to be trapped in the turtle’s gut, making it impossible for it to dive and hunt for food.


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 Photo credit: Mark Fitz

After a few months in rehabilitation, Barnacle Bill was strong enough to be released back into the wild in the beautiful Whitsundays. He is just one of 86 sick or injured sea turtles that have been nursed back to health by the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre since it opened in 2013.


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Photo credit: Mark Fitz

The centre, staffed by volunteers, is also supported by Cruise Whitsundays whose passionate staff rescue and transport sick turtles to the centre where they can be cared for.

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Photo credit: Mark Fitz

In the event of finding a sick or injured sea turtle, please call 1300 ANIMAL (264625) so trained staff can advise what to do.

To find out more about Eco Barge Clean Seas and the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre, please visit www.ecobargecleanseas.org.au

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 Photo credit: Mark Fitz