When a beachgoer recently noticed an animal in trouble in Hervey Bay, Australia, the concerned passerby knew they had to help. The Good Samaritan quickly alerted a local council contractor working nearby, who got in touch with experts at Turtles In Trouble Rescue Inc. (TITR).
The struggling animal was a turtle who’d swallowed a bit of fishing line and had a fish hook embedded in his flipper. Now, he was washing dangerously close to shore.
“The tide was incoming fast, and the turtle was submerged by the time of my arrival,” TITR founding member and volunteer Angela Bell told The Dodo.
Bell was horrified when she realized what had happened.
“It is always tragic to see this,” Bell said. “Ingestion of foreign objects is not natural, and this could have been avoided with better fishing practices.”
Rescuers used a harness to transport the turtle, later named Glen, to a local wildlife hospital, where veterinarians gave him the medical treatment he needed.
Bell hopes that Glen’s story encourages community members to be mindful of wildlife in their area.
“Everyone can help sea turtles,” Bell said. “Simply disposing of litter appropriately to avoid it washing into the oceans, or picking up litter each visit to the beach, is an easy start. This applies wherever you live in the world, as even inland, litter can wash or blow into creeks, rivers, drains and then out into oceans.”
Glen is still recovering at the wildlife hospital, and rescuers are hopeful that he’ll get back to the ocean soon.
“We truly hope a full recovery is on the cards for Glen,” Bell said. “And [that] release [is] possible in the not-too-distant future.”