Today, 28 February 2013, marked the windup of the Day Survey component of the Gnaraloo…
We had a busy morning today! Near the start of our survey area in the Gnaraloo Bay Rookery, we were lucky enough to encounter a green turtle at the end stages of nesting! She was in the process of covering her egg chamber. We maintained our distance, but managed to get a few nice photos of her returning to the ocean.
Just when we thought the excitement was all over, a female loggerhead had gotten stuck in between the exposed reef just off the beach. She had emerged at high tide and laid a nest, but when she attempted to return to the ocean, the tide had gone out.
We discovered her trapped at 7 AM, where we estimated she had been stuck for at least 2 hours. We attempted to lift her, but she was at least 95 cm and approximately 90 kg! We slowly twisted her to lift her off the rocks she was caught on, but she was very exhausted, so she stopped moving.
While I completed the rest of the survey, Justine remained with the turtle, building her a make-shift sun shade and gently pouring sea water over her head and limbs while she rested.
At 9:20 AM the tide began to come in and the turtle became more alert, we moved some rocks out of her path and gave her a bit more assistance to get her clear of the exposed reef. Eventually she managed to gather her strength and climb over the remaining rocks into the ocean.
She was lucky we were there to give her a bit of a helping hand and we were lucky the tide came in just in time to help!
Cheers, Careena and Justine