Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Washed-Up Turtles Set Free after Given Clean Bill of Health

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Washed-Up Turtles Set Free after Given Clean Bill of Health

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate O'neill kate.oneill@northernstar.com.au

FIVE sea turtles found washed up on local beaches earlier this year were yesterday set free in the Cape Byron Marine Park at Byron Bay.

The three juvenile green turtles and two eight-year-old hawksbill turtles had been in the care of Australian Seabird Rescue's sea turtle hospital at Ballina since being rescued between four and six months ago.

Rochelle Ferris, of Australian Seabird Rescue, said the three juveniles named Ursula, Camille and Penelope, were the remaining survivors of 10 green turtles that were washed up after the big seas and storms at the end of May.

Each had swal- lowed plastic, which made them ill and underweight.

Ms Ferris said turtles often see plastic items as attractive food sources, but when swallowed it blocks their intestines and they slowly died from starvation.

"Since being in care they have each passed multiple pieces of plastic. They're now well and gaining weight," she said. …

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