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Untangling Twiggy Turtle

March 8, 2014
Twiggy the turtle on his way to a successful release in the Seaworld boat.

Twiggy the turtle on his way to a successful Broadwater release in the Sea World boat. Photo by Dale.

By Mic Smith

Efforts to release a sea turtle from a tangle of fishing line in the Southport Broadwater has shown how much everyone values the well being of these Broadwater marine residents.

Divers first spied that the turtle was in trouble about a week ago, Dale the water taxi operator says.

The turtle had fishing line wrapped around one flipper but would not let the divers get close enough to help it.

The flipper was a bit mangled, Dale says.

Word got out that the turtle was in need of help so divers, Sea World workers and other Broadwater users kept an eye out for the injured animal.

Dale says divers were looking along the seaway wall as turtles often take shelter in caves along there.

On Thursday Sea World divers found the turtle resting underwater on the river bed near the gate entrance to the south wall.

They took it back to Seaworld and “unwrapped the line, removed a hook that was found embedded in his flipper, and gave him an xray to make sure he hadn’t ingested any lines or hooks”. The Sea World Research and Rescue Team released the turtle yesterday where it was found.

The 70 cm juvenile green sea turtle has earned the name ‘Twiggy’ because there was a stick tangled with the fishing line that was cutting into its fin.

Sea turtles feed on sea grass beds in the Broadwater and lay eggs on South Stradbroke Island. Green sea turtles, which are classified as endangered, always return to the beach where they were born to breed and lay eggs.

Find out more about sea turtles at the Southport Spit in my article in Blank Magazine

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