Andrew Kaltenbach from the Gold Coast had an unforgettable experience on Fraser Island as his family sat with a dying turtle for its last few hours. Picture: Supplied
Andrew Kaltenbach from the Gold Coast had an unforgettable experience on Fraser Island as his family sat with a dying turtle for its last few hours. Picture: Supplied

Tourists nurse injured 150-year-old K’gari turtle

An injured turtle on Fraser Island spent its last hours surrounded by a loving family who held its flipper and stroked its head while a ranger put it to sleep.

The Kaltenbach family had enjoyed a day at Lake Wabby and the champagne pools when they spotted a large turtle at the waters edge.

It didn't look in good shape.

Its front right flipper was missing, which Andrew Kaltenbach put down to a shark attack.

"When we found him he was losing a lot of blood," he said.

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It was the family-of-five's first time on the island together and they will never forget it as each of them sat by the 150-year-old turtle and nursed it in its last hours.

"It was a heart-wrenching experience full of love and gratitude," Mr Kaltenbach said.

The Kaltenbach family from the Gold Coast had an unforgettable experience on Fraser Island as they sat with a dying turtle for its last few hours. Picture: Supplied
The Kaltenbach family from the Gold Coast had an unforgettable experience on Fraser Island as they sat with a dying turtle for its last few hours. Picture: Supplied

"We sat with him and flagged some people to call the ranger.

"Each one of us spent time with the turtle as it took about an hour from the ranger leaving us til he came back to euthanise the turtle."

Mr Kaltenbach said no words were needed as the bond between the sea creature and the family was felt.

"Such an amazing life lesson for the kids," he said.

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Mr Kaltenbach posted pictures and shared the story to Facebook which got the attention of hundreds of people.

"There have been naysayers and keyboard warriors saying we would have left it, but leaving it to be eaten alive by dingoes is not in my nature," he said.

"Our pictures were not happy snaps but memories that will live with us forever."

The family who had to say goodbye to their 19-year-old jack russell last year knows the feeling of being by an animals side while they take their last breaths all to well.



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