Rescued Sea Turtle Recovering at SEA LIFE Sydney

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 17, 2021 10:00 pm

rescued sea turtle sea life sydney aquarium

Avalon the hawksbill sea turtle in care at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

An endangered Hawksbill sea turtle has been rescued by staff from SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and is now recovering at their Animal Rescue Centre. Rescuers found the turtle who was covered in barnacles and fighting for her life after receiving a tip-off from the public.

When rescued the turtle which has been named Avalon weighed 4kg. She was found barely responsive and needed to be rushed back to the Animal Rescue Centre for emergency treatment. Fortunately she has recovered well and it is hoped she will soon return to the ocean.

rescued sea turtle sea life sydney aquarium

Avalon when she was rescued off the coast of Sydney

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

“When we first saw her, we didn’t think she would pull through,” said Kellie Carmody, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s on-site Vet Nurse. “She was in quite a critical state and it was really important that we moved quickly so that we would be able to turn her health around in a positive direction.”

At the Animal Rescue Centre vets were able to take bloods and conduct X-rays using the resources available there. The young hawksbill turtle was suffering from extreme dehydration, a severe infection and a congested intestine. She was also covered with barnacles which can cause discomfort for the turtle.

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To help save the turtle keepers gave Avalon fluids and placed her on a course of antibiotics and other supplements. Within a few weeks she started responding positively to her treatments.

“After a few doses, Avalon was able to lift her head and respond to treatments,” explained Kellie. “The barnacles started dropping away and her intestines have now cleared up.”


Although far from a full recovery, her carers are thrilled to see her on the road to restoring her health and hope that one day they will be able to return her to her home in the wild.

rescued sea turtle sea life sydney aquarium
rescued sea turtle sea life sydney aquarium

Left: Avalon in care at SEA LIFE Sydney. Right: An X-ray of Avalon the sea turtle

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

“It’s great to see her get her fight back,” said Saskia McDonald, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarist and one of Avalon’s daily carers. “It’s really important to us that we get her back into good health and give her a good chance at returning to the ocean so that she can contribute to repopulating her critically endangered species.”

After Avalon has completed her recovery and been cleared by vets at the Animal Rescue Centre she will be released a suitable location as required by the rescue licence from NSW National Parks and Wildlife.

The Animal Rescue Centre opened in 2019 to help rescue and protect ocean life. Over the last six months the centre has housed and rehabilitated five turtles.

rescued sea turtle sea life sydney aquarium

Avalon when she was rescued

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Learn more about the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium on their website – SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

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