Jos legacy a real saviour

Releasing Jo the green sea turtle back to the waves recently were (l-r) Sergio Jacomy from Evans Head Kayak Adventures, ASR volunteer Aimee Irving-Bell, ASR president Rochelle Ferris, and Mike and Brenda Heagney, who brought Jo to ASR.

Thanks to Jo the green sea turtle, Australian Seabird Rescue (ASR) in Ballina has developed a new technique that could help save other turtles and the method has already been adopted by Underwater World on the Sunshine Coast.

In November last year Evans Head Kayak Adventures guide Sergio Jacomy and two of his customers found a severely distressed green sea turtle stranded on the beach. They drove it directly to the ASR Turtle Hospital in Ballina.

Jo, named after the St Josephs school group that visited the centre shortly after his admission, was severely emaciated and close to death. He was suffering from an intestinal infection causing gas to build up in the body cavity, a debilitating disease that causes a slow and painful death by starvation.

During Jos rehabilitation ASR developed a scratching post, enabling turtles in captivity to scratch their backs; natural sea turtle behaviour which assists in removing parasites and other carapace issues. The footage has been posted on YouTube and can be viewed by following this link www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTGA4mexJ5g.

After many weeks of intensive care Jo made a full recovery and last week was released back into the wild at Julian Rocks.

We cant be sure where Jo originally came from. It is likely he was floating helplessly on ocean currents for some time before he stranded, said ASR president, Rochelle Ferris. However, Julian Rocks is part of a superb protected marine park and an ideal place for Jo to be released. We are all very excited to see him being returned to the sea.


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