Today we released the 100 kilogram Green Turtle, ‘Big Lady’ that we have been looking after at the Wildlife Hospital.
You would have thought that she might have said thank you after all the tender love and care we have lavished on her for the past month, but once those flippers hit the open ocean she was off!
Big Lady was found washed up near Forster and brought to us by The Nation Parks and Wildlife Service. When she first arrived she was covered in barnacles so she probably hadn’t been moving around much at all.
Thankfully after taking some x-rays we didn’t find any fishing lines, plastic bags or other rubbish inside her which was a great relief. Human litter is a huge problem for marine animals, they tend to mistake it for food and once they have gobbled it down it is usually lethal.
Despite being a fussy eater she soon showed us she was a fighter and for the past few weeks we kept a close eye on her to make sure she could dive and swim and was back to full fitness. It soon became clear to us that all she needed was a little bit of rest and recuperation and was ready and raring to get back out there.
Today, ‘Big Lady’ left with a full police escort. The Water Police helped us transport this very special girl a few kilometres past Sydney Heads, and with one big breath she swam away...success!
She was a very special patient for us at the Wildlife Hospital. Only about 1 in 100 turtle hatchlings would make it to her age and size, being a breeding female we really wanted to get her back out into the wild as quickly as possible.
Making the day even more special we were also greeted by a female Hump Back Whale and her calf on their way back to feeding areas in the Antarctic. The calf breached and splashed around as mum waved her extraordinarily long pectoral fin.
A perfect end to a perfect day.
Taronga Zoo, Media Relations
(02) 9978 4606
Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Media Relations
(02) 6881 1400
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