Amazing effort to save turtle after shark attack
A green sea turtle that was attacked by a shark is thanking her lucky stars, after she was rescued by the team at Ballina's Australian Seabird Rescue.
The turtle, named Rainbow, was found at the Bream Hole at Lennox Head.
"Our turtles really do go through a lot out in the ocean," ASR posted on social media.
"We suspect that Rainbow has had a run in with a shark. Did you know that besides humans, sea turtles have very few predators?
"Sharks being one of those predators, in particular tiger sharks."
ASR took Rainbow to the team at Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and started her on a treatment plan of wound care and antibiotics.
But if a shark attack wasn't bad enough, this turtle had other problems.
After a couple of days, ASR volunteers went to change Rainbow's water and noticed she had passed a lot of plastic.
"It is likely that the plastic that Rainbow had ingested made her unwell and very slow, therefore becoming more susceptible to a predator," ASR said.
"If the shark had been successful in catching the turtle it would have also ended up with a belly full of plastic.
"This is a great example of the devastating effects that plastics are having in our marine environment."
Once the plastic was out of Rainbow's system, the team realised her back right flipper was so badly damaged that it would have to be amputated.
Staff at the Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital did the surgery and she was taken back to ASR headquarters to recover.
She will now continue with a comprehensive treatment plan with regular check ups.
"Sea turtles truly are resilient and have the ability to survive and adapt with just three limbs," ASR confirmed.
It has been a busy time for Australian Seabird Rescue.
They currently have 28 turtles in care and the food bills are huge.
To make a donation, please visit www.seabirdrescue.org.au/donations.