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Home » Headline (Archive) » 4 September 2012

Australia: Hawksbill turtle reunited with Karratha cousins 4 Sep 2012

Move over Nemo a real life version of the famous fish tale has taken place in Western Australia only this time the clown fish has been replaced by a hawksbill turtle name Florence.

Like the movie, wayward Florence managed to find herself lost and far from home after being discovered around Esperance - 1500 kilometres from the natural habitat in the Pilbara.

Marine scientist Scott Whiting said it's unusual to find a hawksbill so far out of its warm tropical setting.

"The big storm event like we've been having in the last few days can cause turtles to get off track and get blown into areas where they shouldn't be - this is quite uncommon usually.

"The green and hawksbill turtles they generally live in tropical and sub-tropical waters and sometimes down into cooler waters so we can find them just north of Perth.

"But really down there, they're quite uncommon to be in that cold water down there,"he said.

Even by gentile hawksbill turtle standards Florence didn't look too chipper when a member of the public found her and notified the state environmental department (DECS).

They determined along with being far from home was also underweight and lethargic.

The adventure wasn't over.

Rather than turning Florence around and hoping for the best DECS officials drove her to Albany where a free plane ride took her to Perth Zoo.

There veterinarians saw to her rehabilitation.

"It stayed at the zoo for a number of weeks until they could be sure that it was eating properly and they put some capsules to make sure that it was passing those all the way through the digestive system before they were certain it was healthy enough to be released," said Mr Whiting.

Visiting scientists picked up Florence from the zoo and she was taken to Karratha.

With tracking devices implanted she was released into a location not far from Rosemary Island - a traditional hang out for hawksbill turtles.

"We can't say for certain it has come from Karratha but we know it's in a water temperature and an environment where lots of other hawksbills live.

"So it should certainly be more happy than down under in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean.

"It was released on Saturday morning and it apparently swam off quite vigorously so it was really good," said Mr Whiting.

Source: //
Actual link: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/09/04/3582829.htm

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