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Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

Marine Conservation on the Coffs Coast

River & Jango released after months of rehab

WORLD Turtle Day was celebrated a day early by Dolphin Marine Magic staff and a lucky competition winner, who released two Green Sea Turtles back into the wild. DMM competition winner Belinda Davis, of Toormina, assisted marine park staff in re-introducing endangered turtles, River and Jango, into their ocean home at North Sapphire Beach earlier today. Dozens of onlookers watched on as Ms Davis with the help of DMM’s curator of animal care, Greg Pickering lifted one turtle at a time and placed it into the water. Ms Davis said the experience has inspired her to be involved in marine conservation. “It was just amazing to see them go back into the wild and be free,” she said. “I was so excited, I love the turtles.” River and Jango were rehabilitated in DMM’s marine rescue hospital in the past few months for float syndrome – a build-up of gas that prohibits the turtles from diving or feeding. In his 46 years working with DMM, Mr Pickering has released more than 200 marine animals.   The satisfying feeling of watching an animal return to the ocean never gets old for Mr Pickering. “It’s given me a lot of satisfaction to be able to bring these animals as severely ill condition back to a strong and healthy state and see them make them make their way back into the ocean again,” Mr Pickering said. “It’s a really great feeling to be able to contribute back to the ocean.” Involving members of the public with releases was introduced in recent years according to Mr Pickering. He said involving the community with marine conservation is a great educational tool he hopes will nurture more awareness about marine conservation. “We’ve found by giving those people who found the turtles in particular the chance to release that turtle it gives them a satisfaction and makes their effort worthwhile as well,” “We’re hoping it will encourage other people to help look after the ocean too, “Hopefully in the future, if they encounter a turtle (in trouble) they’ll do something about it rather than just walk past it and say ‘oh look there’s a turtle’.”
Story Courtesy of The Coffs Coast Advocate http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/toormina-woman-helps-experts-release-endangered-tu/3030792/#/0
To watch a video of this release see NBN NEWS http://www.nbnnews.com.au/2016/05/22/turtles-released-at-coffs-harbour/ 

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