Issue 2
Monday, 01 April 2019
Charles Darwin University
Daniel Costa and Sami Hamilton with little “Biscuit”
Daniel Costa and Sami Hamilton with little “Biscuit”

‘Lucky to be alive’: Biscuit the turtle to be released

By Danielle Lee-Ryder

A hawksbill turtle, known as little “Biscuit”, had an adventure on the high seas before landing at the AusTurtle rehabilitation centre at Charles Darwin University.

Less than several centimetres long, the hatchling was barely a week old when saved from certain death by trawler deckhand Sami Hamilton near Cape Arnhem, about 1000 km east of Darwin.

Sami found the dehydrated turtle when getting the dinghy down from the hot roof of prawn trawler “Territory Achiever”.

She said she believed a seagull accidentally dropped him and thought he was dead. She saw his little flipper move and realised he was alive, but dehydrated and close to death.

Sami nursed the baby turtle on the month-long journey back to Darwin.

Since arriving on land, Biscuit has been treated by the Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic and been recovering at Casuarina campus where he doubled in size from just a few centimetres long to now being the size of a small hand. He had a small blister on his cheek, which was treated.

Now about five months old, Biscuit has feasted on fish, prawns, squid, and bok choy while being rehabilitated and grown to be a “very independent and healthy” turtle.

CDU Maritime and Seafood VET Technical Officer Daniel Costa said Biscuit would be released soon back near where he was found.

“We have looked after about 20 injured hatchling and juvenile turtles since we opened earlier last year,” Mr Costa said. “The majority have now been released into the wild near where they were found, with the help of the NT Government."