The green sea turtle (who was given the awesome name of "Gary Gungoo") was released back into his sea country after 10 months of rehab north of Townsville. The poor little fella had been found suffering from floating syndrome. This problem occurs when turtles eat the rubbish that people dump into the sea, especially plastics and fishing line. Fortunately, Gary Gungoo was given expert care and is now back in the waters off Queensland. Probably chillin' with Nemo and Dory I'd imagine.
Gary Gungoo (man, I love saying that name) was actually found in an area called Hinchinbrook, where local indigenous groups have stopped hunting turtles. Unfortunately sea turtles and dugongs are still fair game around Queensland, and the cruelty involved is terrible. There's also the worry that hunting is pushing some turtles to the brink of extinction. Who would have thought that these gentle reptiles had it so hard??
Luckily, the new QLD govt has promised to make sure turtles and dugongs are protected by the same cruelty laws as other animals, by the end of their first 100 days in office. They've got about 42 days left to make good on their promise.
It's fantastic to see the traditional owner groups who looked after Gary getting in on the action and leading the way. Hopefully with this kind of compassion it won't be long before Dr. Seuss' Yertle the Turtle becomes fact.
"And the turtles, of course, all the turtles are free.
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be."