Squirt…Bound for sunny
One of the major conservation projects at the Dolphin Discovery Centre is the rescue of stranded baby Loggerhead Turtles. Thriving in warmer waters, the newly hatched juveniles ride the warm ocean currents for up to 12 months feeding on plankton. Along the west coast, this is known as the Leeuwin current and can extend a long way south and often close to the coast. Trouble strikes for the hatchlings when a number of cold fronts from the Antarctic blow them off course and into the colder waters of the SW region. Weak and unable to catch food, many little turtles become part of the food chain themselves, but some lucky turtles eventually wash ashore on the beaches where they are found and brought to the Dolphin Discovery Centre. They then require months of dedicated care to reach a satisfactory condition before they are returned back into the beautiful warm waters in the Northwest of WA.
Little Squirt was rescued from a beach near Albany in January 2012, cold, starving & dehydrated, with an injured front flipper, and weighed only 346 grams. After being stabilised in Albany for a few days Squirt came to the Dolphin Discovery Centre, complete with X-Rays of the flipper, to be lovingly cared for by our volunteers and staff. Now 18 months later, weighing a hefty 3.5 kilos, Squirt has made a full recovery
and is ready for release. On the 19th July 2013, Squirt was measured & and flown to Exmouth with another little Loggerhead Turtle, where they were both fitted with satellite transmitters prior to being set free into the beautiful warm Exmouth ocean.
We are now able to ride the wave of freedom with Squirt (for the life of the transmitter battery) by clicking this link
as each time Squirt surfaces a signal is being beamed back to us.
This successful rehabilitation is a great story and our little turtle will be sorely missed, not just by Volunteers and Staff at the Dolphin Discovery Centre, but by the thousands of visitors and school groups who Squirt has helped educate about the plight of turtles and other endangered marine species.
Recently the Dolphin Discovery Centre won $5,000 from a Bendigo Bank Facebook campaign to build better facilities to rehabilitate our rescued turtles. Well ironically the day Squirt left our new turtle tank arrived. Manufactured & donated by Bellfire, the 4,000 litre tank will allow us to look after any turtle found in the South West and nurse them back to health ready for their return to the ocean. DDC and Narregebup at Rockingham are the only two places in Southern WA that are fully equipped to deal with sick and injured turtles. Now the work can begin, previously we haven’t had a large enough tank to house the larger turtles so we were only able to stabilise them and hand them over, but now thanks to the generosity of Bendigo Bank and Bellfire we can now care for turtles large and small.
If you do find a sick or injured turtle - click through to find our Turtle Watch Request
page with more information.
- Squirt April 2013
- Squirt May 2013