RETURNING HOME: Whitsunday Turtle Rescue volunteers Ian Cameron, Amelia King, Tracey Prince, Julie Gedo, Johnny Allevato, Jo Jo Huggins, Joanne Cameron and Libby Edge releasing three-flippered turtle Stumpy back into the wild. 
Photo contributed.
RETURNING HOME: Whitsunday Turtle Rescue volunteers Ian Cameron, Amelia King, Tracey Prince, Julie Gedo, Johnny Allevato, Jo Jo Huggins, Joanne Cameron and Libby Edge releasing three-flippered turtle Stumpy back into the wild. Photo contributed.

Stumpy the turtle released safely back into the sea

WHITSUNDAY residents would remember Stumpy the turtle, rescued from Whitehaven Beach on September 5 last year.

With one of his front flippers severed by fishing line, the battler began the long road to recovery at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre.

On May 9, Stumpy was returned home, taken back to Whitehaven Beach on the Eco Barge with Turtle Care volunteers.

It was a shaky start for the local icon, needing a hand to get back into the water, but was soon his old self Eco Barge Clean Seas founding chair Libby Edge said.

"When Stumpy first entered the ocean he just hung around close to the beach whilst we all watched him," she said.

"It was almost like he was saying his goodbyes and thanking us for the help before he headed out to deeper waters."

Having spent three months at the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre before being transferred to Cairns, Ms Edge said Stumpy would always hold a special place in their heart.

"Stumpy is, and will always be, one of our favourite turtles that we have cared for," she said.

"He has been a super star with so much media coverage, and it was a truly special moment when he was released.

"Thank you to all the carers here, and especially Jennie Gilbert in Cairns, who have helped this beautiful turtle through his recovery."

Eco Barge would like to hear of any Stumpy sightings.

Sick or injured turtles can be reported to 1300 ANIMAL (264 625).


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