Exmouth rescue charity in the works
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.
This injured turtle got coral stuck behind its eye and wastaken to Exmouth Vet Clinic for treatment.