Surprising twist to first turtle breeding, watch the video
THE world's longest studied turtle has made its way to Mon Repos, marking an early start to this year's breeding season.
The turtle had been back to Mon Repos for a record breaking 17 breeding seasons and was the first turtle of the season to make its way to shore to nest.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the well-studied Flatback turtle returning gave the season a special start.
"This 70-year-old turtle first nested at Mon Repos beach in 1974, making this is her 17th breeding season here," Ms Enoch said.
"Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers joined volunteers on the beach to record the nesting event and can report that she laid 33 eggs last night."
Ms Enoch said bells would be ringing across Bundaberg tomorrow, a tradition that marked the start of the season.
"The annual ringing of the bells is a beloved tradition in Bundaberg and is a reminder of how crucial the region is to the conservation of endangered loggerhead turtles," Ms Enoch said.
"Junior Turtle Ranger students from St Lukes Anglican School will be the first to ring Bundaberg's Christ Church bells.
"Many other schools and kindergartens will also be dusting off the old school bells to join in with the ringing of the bells to welcome the turtle season."
Each season from 15 October to 30 April, Mon Repos beach closes to the public from 6pm-6am to ensure protection for threatened marine turtles.
Visitors can encounter turtle's nesting and hatching on Mon Repos shores between November and March each year, tickets are available now.
For more information visit https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos/