Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Marine Turtles

 

Guests are able to visit Marine Turtles at Taronga Zoo over the coming weeks.

Four Marine Turtles have been temporarily relocated from their current home at Taronga Wildlife Hospital to Seal Cove, a pool at Taronga that is visible to guests. For the past 10 months, the turtles have been receiving treatment at Taronga Wildlife Hospital.

Taronga Wildlife Hospital and this move to a larger pool is part of their rehabilitation process.

The turtles, who are approximately one-year-old, have temporarily moved to Seal Cove in order to improve their swimming and diving ability. They will have the chance to swim further and deeper, and practice holding their breath to dive. This trial will show the Taronga Veterinary Team how strong they are and will assist in making a decision on when it will be safe to release the Turtles back into the wild.

The four Green Turtles were named after the beach areas they were rescued from, after they were found washed up in April 2017 when they were just hatchlings. Nulla was found in Cronulla, Sully in South Cronulla, Stan was found in Stanwell Park and Stephen was found in Port Stephens.

The turtles would have hatched on one of the nesting islands in Queensland. Two of the turtles arrived with injuries to their flippers, probably resulting from large predatory fish bites. Taronga has treated the turtles and they are now clinically well and have good body condition.

The turtles need to be 30cm in length before being released into the wild so that Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital can attach satellite trackers to their carapaces. Fitting the turtles with trackers will enable Taronga scientists to understand how Turtles survive in the wild and where their habitat is as well as to help find out where the turtles forage and gauge the success of their rehabilitation.

Marine Turtles are one of Taronga Conservation Society’s Legacy Species. Six out of seven of the world’s Marine turtle species live in Australian waters, and they play a vital role in maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems.  Marine turtles are a threatened species world wild and Taronga Wildlife Hospital will continue to treat and rehabilitate injured Marine Turtles. Our scientific research commitment includes tracking and monitoring marine turtles through our satellite tracking program. 

Taronga Wildlife Hospital has rehabilitated, released and satellite tracked 11 marine Turtles as a part of this program and will return these turtles to the wild in December this year

Visitors can learn more about these amazing animals at the Marine Turtle keeper talk held at Seal Cove on Saturday and Sunday at 3pm.

 

For media enquiries or more information, contact:
Sarah Lievore, 9978 4606, 0403 513 963, slievore@zoo.nsw.gov.au
Amy Russell, 9978 4796, 0420960310, arussell@zoo.nsw.gov.au