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We rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured animals

As a Sanctuary, we are able to provide a safe place for injured or sick marine life to receive treatment, rest and recover before being released back into the wild. We have installed dedicated rescue and rehabilitation facilities to allow a greater number of rescued animals to be cared for at one time as well as a larger variety of animals. 

Most notably, MSLS has been a successful rescue & rehab facility for Sea Turtles:

December 2012- Eggs

We are currently incubating over 100 sea turtle eggs that were laid at Bungan Beach on Sydney's Northern Beaches. The turtle was seen laying the eggs in the early hours of the morning, but the eggs were laid below the low-tide mark and would not have survived when the nest flooded. We hope that after around 70 days the eggs will hatch and we can release the hatchlings back on Bungan Beach.

October 2012 - Curly

Curly is a sub-adult Hawksbill Turtle who was found by South Curl Curl volunteer lifesavers, stranded on Curl Curl Beach in October 2012. She had no obvious injuries, but her condition was very concerning. They carefully brought her to Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary for some treatment and rehabilitation. After about 10 weeks of care and monitoring, Curly was healthy, and was released back into the wild. 

November 2011 - Button

Button was rescued at Cottage Point in November 2011 was found floating among boats by locals. She had floatation issues, her entire body was leaning to the left and she was showing signs of high stress. She was brought to Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary for assessment and rehabilitation It is possible that this injury was caused by a boat, which is a common injury and a major threat to marine turtle populations. Button is now able to stay submerged, does not lean to the left and is able to control her movements well and swim normally. She has recently been released back into the wild at Cottage Point.

August 2011 - Buoy

Buoy is a sub-adult turtle who was found stranded on Collaroy beach. His front left flipper was missing, his shell covered in barnacles and he was grossly underweight.  He was cared for by our staff and was eventually well enough to be introduced to the Oceanarium. Buoy is currently in the Oceanarium which is large enough for him to dive, swim and interact with other animals. We are continuing to feed the turtle a diet that will help him to gain weight, with the hope that when he reaches a healthy weight, he may be tagged and released back into the wild.

April 2009 - Sea Biscuit

Sea Biscuit was found washed ashore on a local beach following stormy weather in April 2009, with a severely injured left flipper. She weighed just over 80 grams. Sea Biscuit was brought to Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary where she has been rehabilitated. Unfortunately, she lost her left flipper because it was so badly damaged. With the help of our staff, Sea Biscuit recovered and was able to learn how to dive and swim using only her three remaining flippers. As Sea Turtles use their front flippers to propel their bodies through the water, Sea Biscuit has to work a little harder with her right flipper to dive, but she is able to do so extremely well. 

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary is also ready to handle rescues of fish species found locally including seahorses, stingrays and sharks. We are currently preparing our facility to also extend this function to Little Penguins.

January 2015 - Shelly

Shelly was rescued from Cabbage Tree Bay near Manly in January 2015 and has been rehabilitating at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary ever since. At the time of rescue Shelly was very lethargic, slow and covered in barnacles.

Now, Shelly is rid of her barnacles, is much more active, weighs a healthy 10.5kg and has graduated to a larger pool. X-ray and tests results show that Shelly is almost completely recovered from a hip fracture and has no signs of ingestion of foreign objects.

A pre-release plan is now being developed for Shelly's successful return into the ocean. Part of this plan includes sourcing a satellite tag for Shelly. Satellite tags cost $3,500 plus $100 per month for satellite time which typically lasts about 12 - 18 months. You can donate towards Shelly's tag here. We'll then track Shelly's movements via our turtle tracking site, Turtle Watch.


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