HAPPY TURTLE: Zac Maynard, Cathy Clegg, Ethan Clegg, Alf Vary, Stefanie Wabnik, Olivia Brodhurst, Libby Edge and Hope Byers at Ella’s release over the weekend.
HAPPY TURTLE: Zac Maynard, Cathy Clegg, Ethan Clegg, Alf Vary, Stefanie Wabnik, Olivia Brodhurst, Libby Edge and Hope Byers at Ella’s release over the weekend.

Green turtle ‘Ella’ swims free

IT'S no mean feat moving a green turtle, weighing 170kg, but there were smiles all round when "Ella Emily Sugar" was finally re-released into the Whitsunday wild on Saturday.

Reef Catchments was proud to be the financial sponsor of the release, with Ella emerging refreshed after spending time in care at the Eco Barge Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre.

Ella was picked up four weeks previously in Pioneer Bay suffering from "float".

After a round of worming medication and some TLC from the Eco Barge team, the huge turtle was back to full health and ready to be released back into the seagrass-lined bay from where she was first picked up.

Eco Barge founder Libby Edge said Ella was thought to be over 80 years old and a fully grown adult green turtle.

"The cause of her float could have been due to being hit by a boat or illness brought on from other environmental stressors," she said.

Eco Barge's turtle rescue centre has provided care for nine turtles like Ella so far in 2015.

Reef Catchments officers together with representatives from the Proserpine Indigenous Reference Group (PIRG) joined Eco Barge's Libby Edge and Dave Young for the release and a follow on marine debris clean-up trip.

An estimated 270kg of debris was cleared on the trip, included foam mattresses, various boat parts, rope, buoys, fishing line, cans, bottles and more.


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