Three-flippered turtle swims on
Coffs Harbour’s charismatic Australian Green Sea Turtle is moving to a new home.Plugga was rescued as a wild hatchling in 1990 and came into Dolphin
Marine Conservation Park’s care missing a flipper. She was found washed up on the beach with most of her right-rear flipper missing, likely the
result of a predatory attack.
Plugga was only the size of a fifty-cent coin and as a result of her injuries deemed unreleasable. Despite her handicap, she has spent her life swimming,
feasting on the best quality fruits and vegetables, and lapping up the admiration of everyone who meets her. Now, 30 years on and 70 cm wide and
75 cm long, it is time for her to move to a larger facility where she can continue to grow and thrive.
Dolphin Marine Conservation Park works closely with SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and as a result of this strong relationship, Plugga will move to her new
home in Sydney this week.
“While our team are very sad to see Plugga go they know she will be given the expert care she deserves in a facility that has the appropriate space
for an animal of her size,” said Terry Goodall, Managing Director of Dolphin Marine Conservation Park.
Green Sea Turtles (Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas) are endangered. They commonly live for up to 80 years and are the largest hard shell sea turtles
growing up to 1.5 metres long and weighing 300 kg.
Mr. Goodall added, “Plugga is only 75cm long and 100kg so she still has a lot of growing to do! She also has a lot of life left in her and we look
forward to following her new adventures.”
The plan is to eventually release Plugga back to the wild once she successfully adjusts to her spacious new home and is properly prepared for the potentially
hazardous journey ahead.
“Australian Green Sea Turtles are endangered so she has to be well and truly ready to allow her to move back to the wild so she can continue her species,”
said Mr. Goodall.
And how did Plugga get her name?
“She was named by the young niece of our longest serving marine team member, Greg Pickering who has dedicated 50 years to caring for marine animals
at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park and Dolphin Marine Rescue”, explained Mr. Goodall. “She just liked the name but Plugga has always plugged along
quite capably and impressively with three flippers so we think the name is spot on”.