HAPPY ENDING: Watch as turtles return to Mullers Lagoon
THE turtles who fled Mullers Lagoon in search of more water are safely back home thanks to the hard work of a generous Bowen woman.
More than 250 turtles spent Christmas in the backyard of Tracey Bazzo, a licensed volunteer for Bowen Sea Turtle Assessment and Rehabilitation program.
The turtles left Mullers Lagoon in search of water after continued hot weather and a lack of rainfall led to lowered water levels.
However, after welcome rainfall and the diversion of water into the lagoon Ms Bazzo transported the turtles back on December 30.
Ms Bazzo said the community supported her in housing the turtles, but she hoped it wouldn't happen again.
"It was a big job for all our volunteers and everyone and especially my husband and myself because for the 10 or 11 days that we had them we didn't get much sleep as people were bringing them at different times of the night," she said.
"Everyone was bringing in different pools and we've got a good community here, so it worked well for me.
"It shouldn't happen again, council are very much aware of the issue and the treated water is going in so you've got to be happy with that."
Whitsunday councillor Mike Brunker said the water would continue to be monitored and pumped into the lagoon indefinitely.
However, Cr Brunker was concerned that the lagoon had too many turtles that would continue to leave the lagoon in search of more food even with stable water levels.
"If there's too many turtles in the lagoon and they're competing for the same food source they may wander regardless of the water," he said.
"This is an ongoing issue and at some stage we may have to look at a capture and repopulate program.
"It shouldn't be an issue with the constant water supply but at the end of the day if we improve the water source we may have too many turtles."
Cr Brunker said this would be on the council's radar for the new year after consultation with the Department of Environment and other environmental bodies to determine a sustainable outcome while maintaining the wildlife in Mullers Lagoon.