Turtle attracts crowd at Tannum Sands beach Tannum following

By KRYSTEN BOOTHbooth@gladstoneobserver.com.au

INTRIGUED turtle watchers have been asked to keep their distance if they see the reptiles on local beaches.

A turtle, believed to be looking to lay eggs on the Tannum Sands main beach, attracted a crowd of interested onlookers on Thursday afternoon.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service principal technical ranger Jim Cruise said there were a few basic tips to ensure people did not disturb egg laying;

* As the turtle is coming up the beach don't get in front of it, and stay at least 10 metres away;

n* Once the turtle has chosen a place to bury its eggs, stay at least five metres away and out of its line of sight;

* Once the turtle has started laying, which can be determined by carefully approaching from behind for a quick look, people can move closer for a look and photograph; and

* At no stage should people attempt to disturb the site where eggs are laid or handle the eggs.

Mr Cruise said if people were viewing a turtle at night torches should be no brighter than three watts.

He said flash photography should not be used.

'Until turtles start laying they are very easily disturbed and will return to the water to wait which will make them an easier target for sharks,' he said.



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