About Us

Chelonia – Established 2001

Chelonia Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release is located in Broome, Western Australia . Broome in turn is part of the truly spectacular wilderness area known as The Kimberley which covers an area of nearly 423,000 square kilometers (three times the area of England).

Broome was declared a town in 1883. Its original purpose for existence was pearling. Pinctada Maxima is the largest of the pearl producing oysters and it was naturally found in abundance in the warm tropic waters of the Indian Ocean, off the far North West coast of Australia.

Broome was established as a pearling port due to access to safe harbor in Roebuck Bay via Dampier Creek, and later a ‘long jetty’ built off Town Beach in 1972 which compensated for the area’s 10 meter tides.

Broome has a rich history of adventure, fortunes won and lost, death in the depths of the seas, and racial riots. It is a truly cosmopolitan community, a blending of Indigenous Aboriginal, Malay, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, and Caucasian races. Find out more about Broome at the Broome Visitor Centre site.

Chelonia is a voluntary wildlife rehabilitation facility which receives no official funding. And Chelonia provides the only non-commercial, fully voluntary, permanent salt water facility in Western Australia caring for endangered sea turtles and other air breathing sea creatures

Chelonia specialises in birds and reptiles, including sea turtles, and takes in around 700 patients per year. Wildlife rehabilitator, Lesley Baird, established Chelonia in 2001 after she met her first sea turtle patient, Bip. Prior to that time she had already treated around 700 patients over a 4 year period, mainly birds and reptiles. Fortunately Bip was a success story and Lesley was hooked on sea turtles from that time. They are highly addictive creatures.

Chelonia is latin for a large group of turtles, among which are all but one species of sea turtle. See the section on Sea Turtles for more imformation on these amazing creatures and for links to other sea turtle sites.

Click onto www.broomecam.com.au to visit Broome’s beautiful Cable Beach and to learm more about Broome.

Chelonia’s Goals

  • To rehabilitate and release sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife where reasonable to do so.

  • To alleviate the suffering of sick and injured wildlife which cannot be rehabilitated to a reasonable quality of life.

  • To do everything possible to contribute to the preservation of endangered sea turtle species by rehabilitation activity and through education.

  • To initiate environmental preservation programs which fall within the scope of wildlife rehabilitation activities.

  • To promote educational programs relating to good environmental practices, the ethics of wildlife rehabilitation, and the plight of sea turtles and other endangered species.