Resources pooled to deliver boost to zoo's rescue facilities
THE Irwins will finally have their family pool back after it was used for more than 10 years to rehabilitate hundreds of turtles on the Coast.
The new marine turtle and bird rehabilitation facilities were officially launched at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital today.
The Sea Turtle Recovery Centre has four intensive-care pools and a larger rehabilitation pool which are currently full with rescued turtles from around the region.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital director Rosie Booth said the Irwins' backyard pool helped rehabilitate more than 400 turtles but the new facility more accurately met the needs of the turtles.
"The pool was great to put the healthier turtle in because it was a big deep pool, but this allows the sick turtles to have a hospitalisation facility for as long as they need it before they go into the specially designed rehab pool where they can do laps and build up their strength before they go back in the ocean,” Dr Booth said.
"It's much better to have something designed for the purpose rather than a human swimming pool.”
Six injured turtles are currently using the facility, including Nalu, an 89kg green sea turtle which had swam around the ocean with a crab pot stuck to it and wrapped around one of its flippers.
What was left of his flipper was surgically amputated and the estimated 60 to 70-year-old turtle was expected to stay for six months to heal before being released into the ocean.
The recovery centre was funded by a $250,000 2018 Federal Government grant under the Improving Your Local Parks and Environment Program.
The new facilities also included recovery tanks for sea snakes as well as improved facilities for birds and viewing platforms for the public.
Industrial-grade washing machines were installed, as well as flood mitigation measures to allow staff to spend more time with animals.
Fisher MP Andrew Wallace said he was pleased to help those who continued to save wildlife on the Coast.
"This is a way we can help rehabilitate those turtles that either get hit by boats or get sick because of the plastic that's often out in the waterways or just through natural causes, and Australia Zoo, as they do for many types of animals, care for and rehabilitate those sick turtles,” he said.
If an injured turtle is found, contact 1800 264 625.