Turtle rehab centre is back in business

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Naragebup head of turtles Pauline Whitehead is preparing the centre to begin caring for loggerhead turtles.
Camera IconNaragebup head of turtles Pauline Whitehead is preparing the centre to begin caring for loggerhead turtles. Credit: Pierra Willix

After several years preparing, the Rockingham Environmental Centre is ready to relaunch its turtle rehabilitation program.

Naragebup ceased its turtle program in the past few years, but after significant work by a dedicated team of volunteers, the centre is now ready to get back to work.

With winter storms still lashing the State, instances of the endangered loggerhead turtles washing up along the region’s coastline are expected to continue into coming months. In the past three weeks three loggerhead turtles, each just a few months old, have washed up along the coast.

Naragebup head of turtles Pauline Whitehead said the centre expected turtles to be cared for in coming weeks.

In the past three weeks three loggerhead turtles, each just a few months old, have washed up along the local coast, with more turtles expected with each storm.

Over the years, Naragebup has cared for and rehabilitated more than 200 turtles, with Ms Whitehead urging members of the public who see the small creatures along the beach to call a wildlife care hotline and to not release the turtles back into the ocean.

“When people find them, please don’t put them back into the water. If you do, they will just be swept further down the coast and will probably die,” she said.

The centre is one of three in the region that helps to rehabilitate turtles, usually for six to 12 months, before they are re-released into the wild.

Anyone who finds a loggerhead turtle washed up on the beach can call Wildlife Care on 9474 9055.

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