Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says it is not yet known if the oil caused the animals to die.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says it is not yet known if the oil caused the animals to die. Contributed

Dead turtles and seabirds covered in oil in north Qld

TWO turtles and two seabirds have been found covered in oil in the wake of a spill near Townsville, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has confirmed.

GBRMPA general manger operations Mark Read told reporters in Townsville that a large dead flatback turtle and a juvenile flatback turtle, plus two boobies, had been found covered in oil.

However Mr Read said tests by veterinarian experts at James Cook University suggested the adult turtle may have died before the oil spill.

"It wasn't killed by the oil," Mr Read said.

Four beaches near Townsville have been closed by police all week, and the GBRMPA has for the first time admitted small amounts of oil have been found in coral reefs near the Palm Islands north of Townsville.

Read more at Brisbane Times


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