It’s been a year since George the Loggerhead Turtle was released off Lord Howe Island, yet the Taronga Wildlife Hospital is still keeping an eye on him! Thanks to the tracking device attached to George’s back, the Hospital staff know his whereabouts and are sure that he is doing fine.
“In the last 359 days, George has been wandering around and probing deep into his habitat. He has travelled all the way south off the Australian coast and has gone back up to the tip of New Zealand’s North Island,” said Taronga Wildlife Hospital manager Libby Hall.
George arrived at Taronga in 2010 as a weakly 61-gram hatchling with a fractured flipper. So having been able to swim for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres to where he is now means that the Hospital staff has done a great job taking care of him!
Making this entire tracking much more interesting is finding out that George ended up in the same vicinity as the previously released Loggerhead in 2010!
“We are thinking that these juvenile Loggerheads are feeding so they are concentrating on the upwellings in the ocean where food is abundant,” Libby explained.
Plotting the Loggerheads’ location turns Libby and her team into sort of detectives trying to uncover the mystery behind the behaviour and migration patterns of these turtles which have been in existence for more than 200 million years.
“Loggerhead Turtles hatch on beaches in Queensland, spend more than three decades in the oceans and return to the same beach to lay their eggs. However, where they go upon leaving Australian shores and what they do during those years remains unknown,” Libby said.
“As a three-year-old Loggerhead, George has a whole lifetime ahead of him! We are certainly looking forward to know where his next adventures will be!” exclaimed Libby.