Saturday, October 4, 2008

Photo Hunt- Sad

This is Minty. He was a sea turtle. He was amelanotic, which meant he was missing melanin, a skin pigment. He was seen in the wild as a baby, and taken to ReefHQ, an aquarium and research facility in Townsville. If he had been left in the wild, he would have been easy prey due to his colour.

He passed away unexpectedly in September 2007, after living at the aquarium for 18 months. He was a bit of an icon locally, especially after Lucky T Turtle was released back to the wild (she is the mascot of the aquarium, but had reached breeding age).

He was a very interesting little lad, who enjoyed hanging out with his friend Torres the sea turtle, up under the filtration unit. The incoming water would feel like a massage on their shells.

Minty in the tank he was raised in before he was big enough to be transferred to the main aquarium.

Lucky T in the main aquarium.

Torres in the tank he was raised in prior to being big enough for the big aquarium.

You can see more of this weeks PhotoHunt entries .

Edit- As far as I can find, the cause of death is still undetermined. He was happy swimming around when staff left the aquarium one night, then when they arrived the next morning, he had passed. His colouring would have made him an easier target in the wild, but it is not believed he would have had a genetic weakness caused by the lack of pigment.

Minty was found when he was only one day old by Turtle Watch volunteers at Black's Beach in Mackay. While it is sad that he died young, he got 18 months longer than he would have in the wild, got to eat well, make friends and have a good life.

He also raised awareness of the need to look after sea turtles, as they are a species vulnerable to behaviour from humans. The volunteers who found him where watching the hatching site partly to try and prevent poaching. He was an ambassador for being good with your rubbish, as sea turtles run into trouble with plastic bags, thinking they are jellyfish, and the plastic rings from six-packs of drinks which get caught around flippers and necks.

ReefHQ sells a Minty soft toy, the profit of which goes towards the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where Minty was raised.


Mrs Mecomber said...

What an amazing little turtle. It is sad that he died.

Mine is up, too. I hope you have time to visit and leave your link.

Melli said...

Aww... so he was like an albino. I guess that's what lack of pigment compares to... poor little fella.

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

It is sad that he is gone. I am glad he was rescued and able to live a safe life for a few months.
~ Maggie Mae

Staci said...

He's so beautiful. It's very sad that his life came to end, but at least he was given some extra time in captivity.

Anonymous said...

That is very sad about Minty. Do they know what caused him to die so unexpectedly?

Baker Watson said...

That is sad considering the long lives many types of sea turtles are generally capable of. But perhaps it was lucky he was captured and cared for over that time rather than being left to dangerous whims of nature during those few months.


GRRRETA said...

Those are great pictures and an interesting story. It's sad that he passed away

Mickey said...

Wow!!! A white turtle :o
I am SAD he passed away suddenly. I bet his 18 months were fun though :)
Thanks for stopping by :)
Purrs Mickey

Incog & Nito said...

Sad that his life was over very suddenly, but lucky to have had 18 months in a loving environment. Happy weekend.

Carver said...

That is sad that he died. Very interesting post.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely story, and yes we haz to look on the bright sides, that he did get longer at life than he would have otherwise :)

PES: I iz sorry I has not visited in a little while, I only came today because I was wondering why you had made no new posts (as per Mommas Bloglines) but when we cames we saw heaps!!
I am going to have Momma take a look at the settings so we don't miss out on teh new one anymores :)