Di goes home, for good
ALL turtles are different. And so it is with Di, the green sea turtle that the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre released back into the sea at Low Isles last Friday.
Jennie Gilbert, the CTRC’s co-founder who oversaw the event, warned daytrippers, media people and others that Di was a bit skittish as turtles go and needed plenty of space when it came for her release into the water.
More than that, she was a repeat customer, having already been released once before but returning to shore some months ago for another stint of rehab.
It was hoped this time she’d get the hang of it and the confidence to hit the water and keep going.
She hit the water like a torpedo and turned tightly back to shore, me managing to reverse myself out of the water and out of her way just in time. I had a feeling she’d do that. But with a bit more coaxing the juvenile turtle (10-12 years old) made it out to sea, much to the relief and hopes of her helpers.
Di had originally been found skinny and weak at Port Douglas about 18 months ago before she was taken into care by CTRC, which at the moment is looking after around turtles.
She is named after Di Horsburgh, a passionate conservationist up in the Tablelands who died this year. One of her last wishes to Ms gilbert was ‘‘please name a turtle after me’’.
Ms Gilbert says recent years have seen an 600 per cent increase in turtle strandings in the Cairns region due to the impact of poor wet seasons and events such as Cyclone Yasi which have destroyed much of the turtles’ seagrass pastures.
‘‘We released her at Trinity Beach about six months ago but she wasn’t ready to go,’’ say Ms Gilbert, ‘‘so we picked her up.
‘‘Today you could see she was apprehensive when she first went out there. She stuck by the shore a little bit, but as you could see, when she went she certainly went. She’s out in deep water now and we haven’t seen her anymore.’’
RELEASED: Di, the green sea turtle, released by Jennie Gilbert and Tim Faulkner