Bells ring to celebrate turtle season

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The bells at Christ Church in Bundaberg rang today to mark the start of turtle season after the first turtle arrived this week at Mon Repos Beach.

It's an event steeped in tradition, held every year in the region.

Mon Repos ranger Cathy Gatley said a flat back turtle more than 70 years old was the first to make her way up to the shore to lay her first clutch of eggs.

“She is the longest studied turtle in the world,” Cathy said.

“She is in her 17th breeding along our coast; it is really exciting to see the old girl come ashore.”

Joined by students from St Luke's Anglican School, parents, Christ Church staff and the region's rangers, the bell ringing began just after 10am.

The prep students were excited throughout the proceedings and were full of knowledge about the turtle facts they had been learning in the lead-up to the event, including the Cut the Glow campaign.

“We're here to cut the glow,” Xavier Johnson said.

“It's so we can help the turtles go back to the ocean and not out to the road, to not make them watch the lights … because they might die.”

The group said they loved turtles because of the way the looked and the funny things they did.

“They poop sand!” Amelia Simpson exclaimed.

“They can lay over 100 eggs,”Xavier Johnson added.

turtle bells
A flatback turtle was the first turtle to come ashore this season at Mon Repos Beach this week, signalling the start of turtle season.

Turtle bells mean tours begin soon

Cathy said while the first turtle had arrived, turtle season tours would not start until the beginning of November at Mon Repos.

“It still might be a few weeks before we see the action ramping up, so the turtle season tours will officially be held from 9 November,” she said.

To find out more, click the Mon Repos Turtle Express Facebook page here.

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