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Byron Shire
December 2, 2021

Two turtles set to return to the sea at Ballina

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An earlier release of three green sea turtles – Byron, Ivana and Kim – at Flat Rock, near Ballina, after being cared for by Australian Seabird Rescue. Photo Darren Coyne

Australian Seabird Rescue (ASR) volunteers Katie and Jen will be releasing two green sea turtles, Ariana and Jellyfish, at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach tomorrow morning (Tuesday, November 27).

‘We rescue many sea turtles all year round – currently we have 12 in care,’ said ASR spokesperson Olly Pitt.

‘The support from the Northern Rivers community is always incredible and we can’t wait to share another turtle release with everyone.’

Ariana was the first to come into care, way back on August 28.

‘We received a call that there was a turtle washed up on the rocks at Byron Bay,’ says Olly.

‘Our rescuer Livie Powell went straight over to Byron and rescued her and brought her back to the Ballina-Byron Sea Turtle Hospital where she was placed into a freshwater bath for 24 hours to remove the loads of epibiota that had built up from her floating syndrome.

‘Since then, Arianas’ progress has been rapid – she began eating within a week of being in care and loving her scratching rock.

‘Once, cleared of parasites it was time for her to go into the pre release tank where she quickly became the boss! Now, after three months of being in care Ariana has gone from 9.3kg to 10.7kg and is ready to go back to the ocean,’ Olly said.

Jellyfish was brought in, after the office received a call from NPWS that there was a sea turtle washed up on the beach, once again in Byron Bay.

The surf lifesaving team were quick to the rescue, keeping her out of the sun and looking after her until ASR rescuer, Steve, got there.

‘Jellyfish came in covered in algae and barnacles. He didn’t start eating until his third week in care however since then he improved every day and had a very fast recovery of only eight weeks,’ Olly said.

‘He now weighs 11.2kgs and is ready to go home.’

Australian Seabird Rescue is licensed to rescue sea turtles, pelicans, seabirds and shorebirds along the whole coast of New South Wales.

The group also runs a Citizen Science project called Northern Rivers Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring Project.


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