Turtle nesting on Keppel
AS tourists made their way to Great Keppel Island in the past week, most did not realise there was another special visitor – a turtle coming ashore to nest.
Karen and Gerry Christie, owners of Island Pizza, said about 8.30pm last Wednesday two Swiss tourists saw a flatback turtle that had decided to nest at the watersports hut on the island and were able to capture these images.
“She came in about 50 metres northwest of the Great Keppel Water Sports and then decided to walk over to the only building on the beach and lay her eggs,” Gerry said.
Karen said the pair were lucky to have spotted the turtle so early, as they often come out later at night.
“They (the tourists) have travelled the world, love diving and love nature so it was a little treat for them,” Karen said.
The turtle laid her eggs next to another nest.
Karen said that second nest might well have been made by the same turtle only days earlier.
After being told about the turtle nest, Karen and Gerry erected a protection fence, which took them until close to midnight.
They will now keep watch over the next 60 days to see what happens.
Karen recalled a few years ago when a nest of turtles hatched in front of the Wreck Bar and everybody came down and watched.
Karen has occasionally seen turtle tracks, but said they generally preferred the back of the island, so she was excited to have a nest right near where the ferry comes in.
“That is just part of the whole island – the nature. It is why we are here.”