GALLERY | Community turns out to farewell Kara


Karlie Brady


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Rehabilitated Green turtle 'Kara' was released onto Four Mile Beach. Image: Dave Pinson Photography.
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A large crowd turned out to farewell Kara the adult green turtle when she was released back into the ocean from Four Mile Beach on Saturday.

Kara was found by a group of locals on Four Mile Beach in March 2019, sick, dehydrated, and in need of specialist care.

One of those locals was Riley Cox, who came full circle on Saturday, by helping lift Kara back into the ocean where she and friends had found her.

"It was an amazing experience and I feel very privileged to have been invited to release her back into the wild," Ms Cox said.

Upon her rescue Kara was taken to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC) where she spent the next 18 months in rehab cared for by volunteers.

Jennie Gilbert, co-founder of CTRC and JCU turtle researcher, said it was a great feeling to send Kara back to her home.

“It was beautiful, she went straight out, she knew what was happening as soon as she went down to the shore,” she said.

“She is a breading female and breeding season is coming up, so it is great that she is back out in the sea.”

It was an emotional goodbye for carers with Kara named after a marine biologist colleague who had passed away. 

Ms Gilbert said the release was a part of a fantastic community day full of activities, including a beach clean-up, turtle talk, a sausage sizzle, and a sandcastle competition.

“It was a great event that started with a marine debris clean up where we found 12 bags of rubbish and microplastics.

“It was a real community day; it was the community who found her and the community who put her back,” Ms Gilbert said.

GALLERY: Check out all the action from Kara’s release below.

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