Exmouth turtle rehabilitation, release brings surge of hope

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Ningaloo Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre volunteers Susie Bedford and Grace Keast help Dorothy to the water in Exmouth.
Camera IconNingaloo Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre volunteers Susie Bedford and Grace Keast help Dorothy to the water in Exmouth. Credit: TomBalks.com

The ocean near Exmouth is once again home to another healthy turtle after the Ningaloo Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre released their fourth animal back in to the deep blue on Sunday.

Dorothy, a hawksbill turtle, has been in care for six months after she ingested plastic, started floating, couldn’t eat and developed barnacles and algae all over her shell.

NSTRC founder and Exmouth vet surgeon Jane Giliam said the release was a beautiful sight to see.

“Dorothy got on to the hard sand, lifted her head, smelt the water and took off at a run,” she said. “It was amazing to see. She was straight into the water and she just swam and swam.”

Almost 60 people went to the beach to see Dorothy be released and Dr Giliam believes it’s because the rescued turtles represent hope.

“Our world is filled with so many distressing things, pain and heartbreak, but then you see Dorothy successfully rehabilitated and return to the sea, which really inspires people,” she said.

“If Dorothy is able to live out her natural life, she will outlive everyone who was standing on the beach which is quite a moving concept.”

Dr Giliam will soon be an empty turtle nester, with only one green turtle left in her care.

The rehabilitation centre was originally looking at becoming a registered charity but is instead going to investigate the possibility of becoming a not-for-profit organisation.

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