Photos: Injured green turtle released at Harbour Beach
AN UNFORGETTABLE moment occurred yesterday when Matilda the green turtle was released back into the ocean.
Matilda has been recovering at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre since mid-June after she was hit by a boat propeller which left her with a broken shell.
After being found injured on a Mackay beach, Matilda was transported to Quoin Island, just off the coast of Gladstone, and has been receiving care from rehabilitation centre volunteers.
One of those volunteers was Alana Kenzler who brought Matilda all the way back to Mackay for her release at Harbour Beach yesterday.
Matilda was slow to start after the five-hour car trip, but once the salty waves crashed over her she swam off in a hurry.
It was a special experience for Alana who had helped Matilda in her recovery.
"Matilda came in not looking too good, so to see her healthy and fighting, slapping her flippers around, that's pretty amazing to me," she said.
"I've only ever released one other turtle and that was a critically endangered Hawksbill turtle, so when I was able to have my kids involved in releasing her, that was an awesome experience."
Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is Gladstone's first permanent marine turtle rehabilitation facility and has been open since March 2012.