Rare turtle clings to life after Ballina rescue
A CRITICALLY endangered Hawksbill turtle is clinging to life at the Australian Seabird Rescue turtle hospital at Ballina.
The rare turtle was found by a family at North Wall, Ballina, and ASR was called to come and collect him.
The rescue organisation's general manager, Kathrina Southwell, said it was still "touch and go" as to whether the turtle would survive.
He is covered in barnacles and Ms Southwell said it was the worst she'd ever seen a Hawksbill.
"I couldn't believe that he was still alive (on Sunday morning)," she said.
"He's swimming around a little bit, but he hasn't eaten anything yet.
"That's not particularly unusual - sometimes the Hawksbills go without food for three weeks, and then all of a sudden they will start eating.
"So this one is being re-hydrated and he's had some antibiotics.
"I have tried to feed him, and I'll keep trying."
Australian Seabird Rescue has had about five Hawksbill turtles in care over the last two months.
If this turtle survives through to Tuesday, he will likely be named by the ASR volunteers.
"If he survives, he'll be in care for at least three or four months," Ms Southwell said.
Australian Seabird Rescue, located on North Creek Rd, Ballina, is currently running school holiday tours at 10am daily on weekdays, at a cost of $5 per person.