MYRTLE the loggerhead turtle has been feasting on squid, jellyfish and crabs as part of her rehabilitation stint at Dolphin Marine Magic and she's a happy girl.
After months of rest and recuperation, she is back to full health and, weather permitting, will be released into the ocean on Saturday.
Everyone is invited to come along and give Myrtle a great send off in what has been another success story for the team at DMM.
"To have a loggerhead of Myrtle's size and age come into care is something really special and we are glad that we were able to save her life and now return her to the ocean,” DMM curator Greg Pickering said.
Myrtle is approximately 80 years old and weighs 80kg. She was rescued by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service after being found floating in the surf at Fosters Beach, Scotts Head. After months of care she is now able to dive and swim and has been given a clean bill of health by Dolphin Marine Magic veterinarian Dr Duan March.
"Because of Myrtle's size and age, it is likely that she is a "resident” turtle who lives permanently in the Scotts Head area where she was initially rescued,” Greg said.
"Because of this we are returning her to this location to an area that should be familiar to her. Why she stranded we don't know, but her eyes were bulging and she'd been on the beach at least 36 hours before being rescued.”
Greg has been part of the marine team at Dolphin Marine Magic for 46 years and holds a special place for the turtles.
"They are fascinating. We don't see a lot of loggerheads, their numbers are low and they are quite solitary animals. You do need to be cautious around loggerheads though as they're carnivorous and will bite. I have had a close call on a loggerhead release at Bundagen one time when I turned away for just a second.”
If you're interested in meeting Myrtle and watching her release, come along and join the Dolphin Marine Magic team at Scott's Head main beach from 8.30am just in front of the surf club on Saturday. Weather permitting Myrtle will be released at 9am.
The event will also include a sausage sizzle and other activities fundraising for the Coffs Harbour Animal Rescue Trust (CHART) which is raising money to build a dedicated native wildlife hospital for the region and supporting research into wildlife disease.
This is your chance to see first hand the circle of rescue, rehabilitation and release in action which is at the core of DMM philosophy.