After two years in rehab, this turtle is swimming free
IT HAS been a long road to recovery for Brodie, an adult male green sea turtle, who was released back into the wild Whitsunday waters today at Whitehaven Beach after almost two years in rehabilitation.
Brodie was found close to shore, with a shark circling him, on Whitehaven beach with a boat strike injury on his lower carapace and missing his front right flipper thanks to discarded fishing line on May 29, 2016.
The turtle was found by Cruise Whitsunday crew and taken to the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre, where it became apparent his injuries needed specialist care.
The turtle was driven to Jennie Gilbert in Cairns where, at Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital, he underwent six hours of difficult bone surgery and the removal of a granuloma from his right flipper which had been badly damaged.
Brodie made a full recovery over the two years in care at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and spent the last stages of his rehabilitation at the Cairns Aquarium where he reportedly made friends with both a shark and a stingray.
Eco Barge Clean Sea's founding chair Libby Edge headed north to collect Brodie as he was ready for release once he had been fitted with a tracking device.
"Cruise Whitsundays has been one of our precious partners for Eco Barge for the past five years, I am so proud of how we all worked together to be able to rescue, rehabilitate and then release Brodie,” she said.
"It would not have been possible without the teamwork from all who have been involved, especially Jennie Gilbert and her team up in Cairns.
"Today is a celebration for sure, but we all know its Brodie who is celebrating the most.”
Cruise Whitsundays general manager Gary Kilby said the team was proud to be part of Brodie's rescue.
"Our staff are out on the water every day and come across injured marine animals from time to time,” he said.
"It's always great to be able to follow the journey of a rescued animal through to see it nursed back to good health and ultimately released back to the wild, where it belongs.”
Eco Barge's Fiona Broadbent said the organisation found more sick and injured turtles came into care at Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre over the winter months because of the cooler waters.
"If you do ever come across a sick or injured turtle, please call the RSPCA animal stranding hotline number 1300 ANIMAL (264625) so one of our trained turtle response team can guide you through the rescue process,” she said.