The kids and I were pottering in the garden, when one of our lovely neighbours, popped over to let us know that there was a sea turtle on the beach! My future marine biologist children and I dropped our gardening tools and hurried down to the beach!
About 500m along, we could see the tracks in the sand, leading up to the sickly turtle.
The sea was rather rough that day and the turtle looked exhausted. We knew not to touch it, as turtle can carry diseases, but to protect it from dogs, walkers and quad bike riders we created a visual barrier around it using driftwood. My daughter found a bucket lid, which she used to try and get some water onto its drying our shell.
I phoned the Department of Conservation hot line 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) who advised us to keep watch over it and to continue to protect it from danger. The tide was on its way in, so we hoped it would return to the sea when the water came.
DOC rangers did arrive later that day and took the turtle to Massey University where specialist veterinarians assessed the turtle. They named her Waiinu. We were told that she had pneumonia and unfortunately died the following day.