A Hawksbill Sea Turtle rehabilitated by Australian Seabird Rescue (ASR) volunteers recently was released yesterday morning at Flat Rock Beach, Ballina, in a special celebration for the endangered marine animal.
Affectionately named Evie by its ASR volunteers, the turtle was rescued from Woody Head on 22 December, with 80 per cent of its body covered in barnacles that had become a parasite due to it being so unwell.
ASR acting general manager Tiffany-lee said Evie was treated for pneumonia and fluke ‘and we were lucky that such a young sick hawksbill responded so well’.
‘As a critically endangered species with a survival rate of one in ten thousand, that is usually a really hard to rehab species, we got lucky with Evie,’ Tiffany-lee said.
‘This is especially wonderful as every single Hawksbill that we save gives the species that little bit more of a chance of survival.
‘Evie came to us weighing 4kg and is approximately 8-10 years of age. Evie is leaving us five weeks later weighing 4.5kg.’
Evie was released by volunteer Kaitlyn Cavanagh, who came to ASR in January last year as an intern, as part of her university bachelor of wildlife science degree.
Tiffany-lee said Kaitlyn continued to volunteer with ASR during her university breaks and ‘her passion for sea turtle survival knows no bounds’.
‘Kaitlyn also, at my request, gave us her original artwork to put on the front of our ‘An ocean free of plastic would be turtletastic’ T-shirts which can be purchased from us as a fundraising effort for Australian Seabird Rescue,’ she said.