In 2000 Paul Barnes and Jennie Gilbert established the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in Cairns, a non-profit organisation.
While they were working at The Undersea World Aquarium, a turtle was brought in with ‘floaters syndrome’ and this was the start of the CTRC. More and more turtles were brought into the aquarium to be rehabilitated by the marine parks rangers and when the aquarium shut down in 2001 the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre was moved to Tingara Street, in Cairns.
Currently there are 50-60 volunteers working at the centre. The CTRC operational costs are met by donations from local businesses and the general public. These donations go directly towards the maintenance and feeding of the sick and injured turtles. Each day the turtles are fed, the tanks are cleaned and medication administered when required. The success rate for the rehabilitation of the turtles has gone from 30% to 85% and is now one of the highest success rates in Australia.
For more information about sea turtles, or to make a donation, visit their website: http://www.cairnsturtlerehab.org/.