Tur­tles

Ex­mouth res­cue char­ity in the works

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Shan­non Beat­tie

Sea tur­tles are a pro­tected species and with the help of Ex­mouth Vet Clinic, many more of them could be saved.

Ve­teri­nary sur­geon Dr Jane Gil­iam wants to es­tab­lish a char­ity that will pro­tect tur­tles from the Nin­ga­loo and Pil­bara coasts for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“The idea is to treat and re­ha­bil­i­tate tur­tles for re­lease; there is cer­tainly no in­ten­tion for us not to re­lease them be­cause we need them to be in the breed­ing pro­gram,” she said.

Dr Gil­iam has al­ready started sav­ing tur­tles and is self-fund­ing the res­cue ef­forts.

She has four tur­tles in her care, in­clud­ing two that came from the Pil­bara and are due to be re­leased by the end of Novem­ber.

“For ev­ery one tur­tle that does sur­vive, 1000 have died, that’s a huge num­ber so ev­ery one we can help, we should,” she said.

Dr Gil­iam wants to cre­ate the Nin­ga­loo Sea Tur­tle Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre, but start­ing the char­ity will cost up­wards of $20,000.

“We can have a greater im­pact on more tur­tles and get more money if we have a char­ity, rather than a smaller and pos­si­bly not as fi­nan­cially vi­able not-for-profit,” she said. “Our cur­rent drive is to get an ul­tra­sound ma­chine, which will be less in­va­sive and will help to tell us a lot more on the re­search side.”

The town has em­braced the project, with Nin­ga­loo Aquar­ium cu­ra­tor Bradley Dohnt as­sist­ing with set­ting up fil­tra­tion sys­tems, and the com­mu­nity donat­ing squid and funds. “We want to build com­mu­nity spirit and we want to ed­u­cate the chil­dren; if we can get a char­ity set up that looks af­ter the tur­tles, we will ef­fec­tively be look­ing our­selves and our com­mu­nity into the fu­ture,” Dr Gil­iam said.

Pic­ture: Shan­non Beat­tie

This in­jured tur­tle got co­ral stuck be­hind its eye and wastaken to Ex­mouth Vet Clinic for treat­ment.

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