A turtle at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
A turtle at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

Turtle rehab centre needs drivers to transport sick animals

LOOKING after sick or injured turtles is one thing, but making sure they can get the help needed is another.

Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is looking for "turtle taxi volunteers", people who can learn how to safely handle turtles and be called upon when a sick turtle is found in an area outside Gladstone.

The volunteer-run centre receives calls from as far as Yeppoon, Tannum Sands and Turkey Beach, but doesn't always have the capacity to pick the turtles up.

QITRC turtle supervisor Kymberley O'Neill said it was the first step in garnering interest from community members wanting to be part of an important animal-saving venture.

"We can get phone calls from people to say there's an injured turtle but getting it here is the biggest problem," she said.

"We would like to get a contact list of people together and show them how to handle the turtle, that way when a turtle needs to be picked up one of our volunteers can bring it straight in to us."

She said it was about volunteers knowing appropriate handling techniques and how to spot a sick turtle.

"You can spot a sick turtle if they're floating on one side, severely covered in barnacles or green moss, and if you go up to it and it doesn't react there's a good chance it could be sick," she said.

"The best way to tell is to take a photo and send it through to the turtle rescue phone and we can judge straight from there.

"We have a few people who have been helping us out from Yeppoon, otherwise it's the person who found the turtle who brings it in."

Ms O'Neill will be on hand at the QITRC stall at Ecofest for anybody interested in becoming a turtle taxi volunteer, or email turtles@quoinislandretreat.com.au.

Turtles like vegies too

IF you'd like to help feed the turtles you can donate vegetables. The favourites among the current patients are:

  • Lettuce
  • Wombok
  • Kale
  • Cash donations also help the centre buy seafood.

Donations can be dropped to 19 Morgan St (McCosker Contracting building, near Hanson Rd)



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