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Busy year for turtle rescuers

(From left) work experience student Denyelle O’Brien, Australian Seabird Rescue North Coast co-ordinator Kath Southwell and Australian Seabird Rescue veterinarian nurse Michelle Hall tend to a sick hawksbill turtle found in the Richmond River more than a week ago.
(From left) work experience student Denyelle O’Brien, Australian Seabird Rescue North Coast co-ordinator Kath Southwell and Australian Seabird Rescue veterinarian nurse Michelle Hall tend to a sick hawksbill turtle found in the Richmond River more than a week ago. Cathy Adams

VOLUNTEERS and funds are needed to care for the alarming number of sea turtles washing up on North Coast beaches.

It is believed the turtles are becoming ill as a result of the destruction of food sources caused by Cyclone Yasi and the high level of plastic pollution in our oceans.

"We have seen nothing like this since we began rescuing sea turtles in 1998," Australian Seabird Rescue North Coast co-ordinator Kath Southwell said.

"We are receiving twice as many stranded turtles a day compared to the one a week we normally get at this time of year."

The wildlife conservation organisation is currently caring for 10 threatened species, including three green sea turtles and seven critically endangered hawksbill turtles.

Reliable volunteers who are aged over 18 and have a special interest in marine wildlife are needed at the centre.

President and co-founder of Australian Seabird Rescue Marny Bonner said residents should call the ASR helpline if they see dead or injured marine wildlife.

"It's really important that people do not ignore turtles or put them back in the water.

They are very vulnerable to sunburn, dehydration and attack by dogs so we need them to call our hotline straight away," she said.

To report dead or injured wildlife call the ASR rescue hotline on 0428862852.

To volunteer contact 66862852 or admin@seabirdrescue.org.

 

Topics:  australian seabird rescue beach cyclone yasi north coast pollution sea turtles volunteers



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