SAFE HAVEN: Billy the Hawksbill Turtle was rescued off Heron Island and currently recovering at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
SAFE HAVEN: Billy the Hawksbill Turtle was rescued off Heron Island and currently recovering at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

Sick turtle delivered in style to turtle hospital

THE Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre's latest patient recently arrived in style thanks to some help from staff at Heron Island's resort.

Wildlife Supervisor Matt Lynn said Billy, a young hawksbill turtle, had been spotted bobbing about on the surface of the sea off Heron Island by a group of researchers from the Department of Environment and Science.

"The resort offered to bring her back to the mainland," he said.

"So Billy and one of the researchers travelled to Gladstone in style on the big passenger ferry.

Billy was transferred to Quoin Island.

"Floating turtles may have a lung infection, or something stuck in their stomach like plastic, fishing gear or nets which can cause digestive gases to build up," Mr Lynn said.

"Boat collisions can also create pockets of gas inside them.

"They can't dive which means they're in danger of being struck by boats, being eaten by predators or starving to death."

 

SAFE HAVEN: Billy the Hawksbill Turtle was rescued off Heron Island and currently recovering at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
SAFE HAVEN: Billy the Hawksbill Turtle was rescued off Heron Island and currently recovering at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

Billy was placed in a shallow tank where she could rest and easily lift her head out of the water to breath.

"There's no other signs of injury or damage," Mr Lynn said.

"We'll use a syringe to remove the pocket of gas, but the only cure is time and antibiotics.

"It should take three months to build up her weight and strength again.

"When she's ready we'll take her back to Heron Island so the people who found her can help release her into the wild again."

Hopefully Billy will return in style.

Mr Lynn said boaties should remain vigilant on the water to avoid collision with wildlife.

"If they find injured or sick wildlife call the centre on 0408431304," he said.