A family found a surprise guest knocking on their door after a giant sea turtle wandered onto their driveway.
Christine Den Elzen said her husband noticed the more-than-a-metre-long animal in front of their property at Mackay Harbour, in north Queensland on Wednesday morning, ABC reported.
‘My husband was reversing out of the driveway and he caught sight of the turtle in his reversing camera,’ she said.
While Ms Elzen runs a business along the harbour and is so no stranger to sea wildlife, she said it was the first time she had come across a green sea turtle.
She had always wanted to see one, though did not expect it to show up at her front door.
Ms Elzen and her surprised partner believe the turtle wandered about 400 metres from the nearby beach, no easy trek considering the size of the large reptile.
They immediately called the local conservationist group.
Mackay Turtle Watch group president Steve Fisher measured the turtle at 108 centimetres and said its weight could be more than 100 kilograms.
He said it was likely the turtle had intended to come ashore to nest and became disoriented in the process.
‘They’ll go to a dune and if it’s not right for them they’ll crawl along the dune system and sometimes go back down to the beach, so they can sometimes do 100 metres but that’s a fair crawl.’
Saltwater magnifies the sea turtle’s vision, which helps it to navigate.
Out of water, Mr Fisher said the turtle was ‘virtually blind’.
‘All the instincts that she normally uses to return to the water were being hampered by buildings and structures and where she’d got to was a big white brick wall and she didn’t know where to go,’ he said.
Mr Fisher said it took an hour and a half to escort the turtle back to the beach.