Wayward turtle gets TLC from wildlife vets

Sep 24, 2010
Wayward turtle gets TLC from wildlife vets
Wildlife vet Kerri Morgan prepares the green sea turtle for a CT scan.

A female green sea turtle is being cared for at the Massey University's Wildlife Health Center in New Zealand after being found on Otaki Beach.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The species of turtle is usually found in , with Australia’s North Queensland coast its closest known habitat.

Wildlife vet Kerri Morgan says it appears the turtle became sick and was caught in a current. “It’s unusual for them to venture this far south,” she says. “The cold New Zealand water has given this turtle what we call ‘cold shock’, and we’re now doing what we can for her.

“She is used to being in water that is about 25 degrees Celsius, and our water is about 10 degrees colder than that. It has obviously been quite traumatic for her.”

The turtle was discovered by a member of the public and was initially treated at the Equine and Farm Veterinary Services in Otaki before being brought to the centre. Since then she has been kept in warm water and had a fluid drip put in to help administer fluids.

The turtle was put through the University’s in an effort to diagnose what may be wrong with it. “There are a few things that could be wrong with her, including pneumonia or a viral infection, or she may have eaten something like a piece of plastic,” Ms. Morgan says.

“The CT results showed a fracture of her shell and , which may be caused by bacteria, or parasites. Surgery to take a of her lungs is scheduled for Monday, which is tricky as we will need to cut a hole through her shell to access the lungs.”

The turtle appears to be adult; its shell is almost 70cm long and she weighs 27.7 kg. The green sea turtle can live for many decades.

Explore further: Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Oldest sea turtle fossil unveiled in Mexico

Mar 06, 2009

Paleontologists on Thursday unveiled the oldest fossil remains of a sea turtle that lived 72 million years ago in northern Mexico, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said.

Submerging saves rare bottom-breathing turtles

Aug 04, 2006

The endangered Mary River Turtle has learned the perfect way to avoid being eaten — stay underwater. UQ PhD student Natalie Mathie, who has been studying Mary River hatchlings for the last two years, has ...

Recommended for you

22 elephants poached in Mozambique in two weeks

10 hours ago

Poachers slaughtered 22 elephants in Mozambique in the first two weeks of September, environmentalists said Monday, warning that killing for ivory by organised syndicates was being carried out on an "industrialised" ...

Pakistan releases smuggled turtles into the wild

15 hours ago

Pakistani officials and environmentalists on Monday released some 200 rare turtles into the River Indus after the reptiles were retrieved from a southwestern Chinese town where they were seized by customs ...

Big science from small insects

20 hours ago

Anniversaries are often a time to look back. But after taking stock of the past, it can be just as important to look to the future.

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

Sep 19, 2014

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

User comments : 0