No, not us this time.
I discovered Myrtle lying on the beach when I went for a walk yesterday afternoon. She (or he, I know nothing about turtle gender) did not look very well. At first I thought she was already dead, but when I gently lifted one of her flippers she tried to turn around and do a
runner paddler. Poor Myrtle was in a very bad way. What to do? What to do?
Usually I would have my mobile with me, but I'd left it at home. I stood and watched her for a few minutes and it was obvious she didn't have the energy to get herself back to sea. I knew that sick and dead sea turtles had been found on Townsville beaches recently. Cyclone Yasi gets the blame again and rightly so. The rough seas whipped up by the cyclone had destroyed most of the sea grass that the turtles feed on and now, six months later, turtles were starving and dying. Poor Myrtle. There was only one thing for it. Pick her up and take her home and phone for help from there.
Myrtle might be starving and underweight, but she was still heavy. Fortunately I was only a couple of hundred yards from home where I put Myrtle in the bath tub. She took up most of the bath tub. After several phone calls I spoke to someone who told me that she was a green turtle and to cover her with an old bag or hessian and keep her wet with warm water. Not having any hessian she got my
good recently worn out Actil sheets. I think she looks like a well dressed turtle. He also told me that the algae on her carapace was not a good sign. The barnacles were more normal, but still not great to have on her head and flippers.
The best news is that with expert care, she will probably fully recover.