South Johnstone State School students are great community champions

South Johnstone State School Leaders, Jarrod and Holly, presented $200 raised from the disco to Steve and Sharon McGuinness from Mission Beach Wildcare.

SOUTH Johnstone State School students have displayed great community spirit after holding a disco and raising $200, which they recently donated to Mission Beach Wildcare.

In June, students attended the ‘Under the Sea’ disco, for which they were required to give a gold coin upon entry.

The Student Council decided they would donate the proceeds from the disco to Mission Beach Wildcare.

Since 2002, Mission Beach Wildcare Inc have been involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of native animals.

The modest facility at Mission Beach Wildcare has grown and, as a result, a large tank has been installed at a cost of over $5,000, which can accommodate bigger turtles.

The not-for-profit voluntary organisation provides rescue and retrieval of animals, emergency and pre-release care, the coordination of carers, and access to veterinary resources throughout the Cassowary Coast.

Wildlife carers rescue sick, injured, and orphaned native wildlife for rehabilitation and release.

Steve and Sharon McGuinness have always been involved with wildlife rescue and care but became even more active since Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

The pair work under the expert guidance of Jennie Gilbert and her team from Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

There are currently three green sea turtles in their care with floating syndrome. 

Stella is 118cm across her shell and also had injuries; Annie, who is 102cm, was found at Halifax Beach, and had wounds on her back and a flipper; whilst Gloria, at 108cm, was also suffering injuries.

Floating syndrome is caused by a build-up of gas in the turtle, which can occur after it has ingested plastics and marine debris as this blocks its gastrointestinal tract and prevents food being properly digested.

The body’s unreleased gas keeps the turtle afloat, which stops it diving for food and makes it more vulnerable to predators like sharks or boat traffic.

After a process of rehydration and activating the GI tract, and once all the debris has passed from these turtles, they are able to eat again and progress to being released back into their natural environment.

A ban on single use plastic items including straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls, and polystyrene food and beverage containers will come into effect in Queensland on September 1.

It is hoped this ban will assist in the reduction of pollution entering waterways and its destructive impacts on marine life and the environment.

Members are experienced in the care of sea turtles, wallabies, pademelons, wallaroos, possums, gliders, birds including raptors, snakes, monitors, frogs, bats, echidnas, bandicoots, cassowary rescue, turtles, and marine life.

There are many associated costs involved in the care and rehabilitation of native wildlife so, to enable the carers can continue their valuable work, donations from the community are very much appreciated.

Mission Beach Wildcare is always looking for wildlife carers and, to find out more information on how to become a carer or to donate, please visit he Mission Beach Wildcare Inc – Cassowary Coast Facebook page.

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