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Rescued Sea Turtle tests the waters at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
A rescued and rehabilitated Loggerhead sea turtle has, as of today (12th January), prepared for a return to the wild with a practice swim in SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium's 2.2 million litre Oceanarium.
The turtle’s keepers guided her way, offering a helping hand when needed as she prepares for her release on 19th January.
Affectionately nicknamed Blair, short for Blairgowrie where she was rescued in December 2013, the Loggerhead turtle has been given a second chance at life thanks to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Program, managed by SEA LIFE's aquarists, vets and with support from the SEA LIFE Trust.
This practice swim saw her come face to face with some familiar animals she will run into after her release, including the resident sharks, stingrays and a Queensland grouper.
After her swim, Blair’s weight and measurements were taken to ensure she is growing bigger and stronger every day before her release.
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium Exhibit Manager, Tereza Todd explained “Blair was found two years ago in a terrible state. Since then she has been in the care of SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium and has made a full recovery. On arrival, Blair weighed four kilograms and now weighs in at a healthy 25kg.
“On arrival Blair was exhausted, dehydrated and malnourished; thankfully she has made a full recovery and will be able to return to the wild. This is a true testament to staff, who dedicated many hours to the program.”
Blair will be fitted with a satellite tag to track her journey. The tag will provide important data, which will aid in further understanding sea turtle’s natural behaviour in the wild.
These state-of-the-art satellite tags are provided by the SEA LIFE Trust, through funds generated by public donations through events and coin spinners on-site at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. Tags can be tracked on the Turtle Watch site, www.turtlewatch.org.au. This site is an epicentre for turtle tracking for all SEA LIFE attractions in Australia and New Zealand.
SEA LIFE Trust was established in 2012 with the mission to support and develop actions which educate, inspire and empower local, national and international communities, resulting in enhanced conservation and protection outcomes for our unique aquatic habitats and species.
Blair is the 13th sea turtle to be treated in the program at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.
Turtles are facing unprecedented threats in the wild, and run a gauntlet of risks just trying to survive. Fishing nets, plastic pollution, boat strikes, habitat loss and coastal development are individually and cumulatively impacting negatively upon turtle numbers around the world. Everyone can help protect these majestic creatures by remembering to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic waste.
4th November 2015 - SEA WORLD RESCUE TEAM REHABILITATES DOLPHIN
1st November 2015 - PORT HEDLAND TURNS OFF LIGHTS FOR TURTLE SEASON
19th August 2015 - AUSTRALIA’S FIRST LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE TO OPEN IN MELBOURNE
18th February 2015 - SEA LIFE TRUST LAUNCHES OCEAN YOUTH PROGRAM
15th January 2015 - SEA LIFE MELBOURNE AQUARIUM CELEBRATES 15TH BIRTHDAY
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