After five years, an endangered Olive Ridley turtle named Lou who lost two of his flippers after getting caught in fishing nets has been released back into the ocean.
On October 28, Lou was freed in Cape York, a remote peninsula in Far North Queensland by the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
Lou first came to the attention of the group when he was found caught in fishing nets. His front left flipper and back right needed to be amputated as a result of the trauma.
The endangered turtle has been learning how to use his tail as a rudder ever since, and last week he was given the chance to test it in the ocean.
Jennie Gilbert, the co-founder of the rescue, was part of the effort to return Lou back to the waters in Cape York.
“It took him a while but once he got going, he was moving at great speed,” Jennie told Cairns Post.
“It’s a great show of determination and resilience.The cute thing was there was a smaller turtle who took a peek at Lou. It was almost like the small one saying, “welcome back to the country”. ”
Jennie said Lou spent a long time floating in the water before he started to swim. She added that since the turtle was released, Lou has traveled 60km, and it was great he was moving so well.