A critically-endangered Hawksbill sea turtle will be returned to the sea tomorrow after being in the care of the Australian Seabird Rescue crew at Ballina for six months.
Nicknamed Tara, the sea turtle was rescued at Yamba on Spooky Beach and after being examined was found to have ‘float syndrome’, which is caused by ingesting plastic.
ASR general manager Keith Williams said despite being hungry, the sick turtle was unable to eat for the first week in care.
‘Tara quickly became known as our fussy eater and whilst in care enjoyed copious amounts of blue pilchards and prawns,’ Mr Williams said.
‘Since coming to us in January, Tara has put on close to 1 kilo and is since rid of her float syndrome after being in care for six months.’
Mr Williams said Tara would be released at The Pass in Byron Bay on Friday at 10am.
‘We look forward to watching her swim back out to the ocean towards Julian Rocks where there is plenty of rocky reef and vegetation for her to enjoy,’ he said.
Mr Williams said the there would be no tours at the Ballina ASR facility tomorrow. Instead, people are invited to join rescuers at The Pass to watch Tara’s return to the ocean.
Meanwhile, he said Australian Seabird Rescue would be hosting a training workshop for new volunteers on Sunday, 16 July. Anybody interested in becoming a volunteer should attend.
He said the work of the ASR was largely undertaken by volunteers.
‘Tara’s rescue, rehabilitation and release could not have happened without them,’ he said.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should contact Mr Williams on 0418504644.