PHOTOS: Big cheer as two turtles are returned to their home
OCEANA Williams was so happy to see her "munchkins" head home.
The 15-year-old from Byron Bay came to Ballina on July 10 to see two sea turtles returned to the wild.
The turtles -- Raccoon the hawksbill and Hamster the green sea turtle -- had been in care with Ballina's Australian Seabird Rescue for four months.
Raccoon had been rescued from Hastings Point and Hamster from Iluka, and both were very emaciated when they were brought into care in Ballina.
Oceana had spent a week of work experience at seabird rescue and helped care for the animals.
"It's so good," she said after watching the pair swim out to sea at Ballina's Lighthouse Beach.
"I was really looking forward to seeing them released."
It's school holidays now, so the release attracted about 200 people.
Alstonville's Tim Paulsen brought his daughters to watch the turtles return to the wild -- and there was a big cheer when the turtles swam away.
President of Australian Seabird Rescue, Grant Evington, and vice-president Don Eagleton were given the honour of releasing the turtles.
Since the pair have taken administrative roles in the voluntary organisation, they hand't released a turtle for about five years.
Even for seasoned volunteers, the thrill was obvious on their faces.
"They've gone home," Don said.