Satel­lite tracks re­cov­er­ing Ray­lene

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - BAR­BARA LYNCH

SIX in­jured tur­tles, which have now re­cov­ered, were re­leased into the wild yes­ter­day af­ter treat­ment at Reef HQ’s Turtle Hos­pi­tal.

They in­cluded Ray­lene, who weighed in at a whop­ping 150kg, and at 50 years of age was the Turtle Hos­pi­tal’s largest and old­est pa­tient.

Reef HQ Aquar­ium di­rec­tor Fred Nu­ci­fora said a satel­lite track­ing sys­tem worth $ 7000 was at­tached to her be­fore she was let free.

‘‘ We will get about a year’s worth of move­ment from our data taken and we will know ev­ery time she sur­faces to take a breath,’’ he said.

More than 500 on­look­ers turned out to see the tur­tles re­leased at The Strand yes­ter­day. Peo­ple can fol­low Ray­lene’s jour­ney through a track­ing web­site which will go live in a few days’ time. A web link will be posted on the Reef HQ Aquar­ium Face­book page.

The six tur­tles were found in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions along the North Queens­land coast and have spent up to six months at the turtle hos­pi­tal. Mus­tad was ad­mit­ted af­ter be­ing found at Pal­larenda Beach with a large stain­less steel fish­ing hook lodged in the oe­soph­a­gus and Porty was found float­ing on the sur­face at Townsville Port. Ray­lene was ad­mit­ted with float­ing syn­drome.

Any­one who finds a sick or in­jured turtle should con­tact the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency hot­line on 1300 130 372.

To make a do­na­tion to the Turtle Hos­pi­tal phone Reef HQ Aquar­ium on 4750 0884.

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