Sunday, December 10, 2023

Torres Strait turtle released after four long years

Recent stories

A turtle that was found trapped in a crab pot in the Torres Strait has been rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

Fitted with a tracker, Leila is released back into the wild. Photo: Stuart Ireland.

After four long years, a group of wildlife carers were overwhelmed with emotion as they finally released a turtle which had been found as a juvenile.

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre rehabilitated Leila, which was found with another hatchling caught in a crab pot at an island in the Torres Strait.

Leila with carers
Leila is carried to the water by volunteer wildlife carers from the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitiation Centre. Photo: Stuart Ireland

“They were brought down to Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre as they were floating with little response and for the first three weeks all they passed were microplastic particles,” Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre cofounder Jennie Gilbert told the Cairns Post last week.

“Sadly one of the turtles passed away and it was found he had part of a cable tie in him.

“Leila was named after Leila Trott, a skipper and dive instructor on Ocean Free, who died when diving overboard to save a dinghy that broke loose at Green Island.”

Since her release at Green Island last weekend, Leila can be followed on the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef’s Reef Tracks site.

Her tracker was sponsored by Coral Expeditions.

“We’ve never had data on the first 10 years of their lives – it’s always been a bit of a mystery,” Ms Gilbert said.

Cape York Weekly 15 June 2021

To track Leila, go to

This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 15 June 2021.


Sign up to the Australian Rural & Regional News newsletters

Manage your subscription

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.