IF our oceans die, we die, is the message from 10-year-old wildlife crusader Isabel Dow, who visited Redlands last week to help her celebrity friend Bindi Irwin raise money to protect local turtles.
While in Redlands as a guest of ferry company Transit Systems, which owns The Big Red Cat, Isabel met marine biologist Qamar Schuyler, a research assistant with Dr Kathy Townsend from the University of Queensland's Moreton Bay Research Station at Dunwich.
The trio is working on a project, Belles of the Ocean 171, an Australia Zoo initiative, to raise money to buy a device to track turtles after they are released in Moreton Bay.
The project was named after Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital cared for 171 sick turtles last year.
Many of the injured turtles were struck by boat propellers, swallowed plastic, fishing line, or were caught in debris such as netting.
Isabel, a Joey Ambassador for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, said it was important for scientists to understand more about turtles, where they go and what they do.
But money to help the scientists and vet staff on their mission was in short supply.
Isabel said it cost the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital between $100 to $1000 to look after a turtle.
"The hospital needs our help to keep treating these beautiful amazing animals," she said.
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital gets no government funding and survives on donations to help treat more than 8000 animals a year, including the 171 sea turtles last year.
While in Redlands, Isabel caught a Big Red Cat ferry to Straddie to meet Dr Townsend and Ms Schuyler, and invite them to a special Belles of the Ocean Project 171 fund raising event on Saturday, July 21.
The young wildlife crusader hoped the event at Riverlife, Kangaroo Point, would raise $10,000, for the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors turtle conservation project.
Australia Zoo's Terri Irwin spoke at the event.