Otaki green sea turtle

Green turtle This endangered turtle washed up on Horowhenua shores after drifting off course from her Australian home.

A passerby found the 70cm-long green turtle on Otaki Beach suffering from severe dehydration and "cold shock" due to New Zealand’s cold waters. The turtle came into Wildbase, basically fighting for her life.

This was the first time we’d dealt with a sea turtle and it was a rare opportunity to look after such a beautiful animal.

At first diagnosis, the docile turtle exhibited severely low levels of iron and protein and trauma blows to the shell. She was put on an intravenous drip for rehydration and underwent blood tests that ruled out kidney and liver disease.

We had to tape back her flippers to squeeze her through a CT scanner normally used to test cats, dogs and lambs. The scan provided a 3D image of the turtle, which showed symptoms of pneumonia.

If she made it, she’d be sent to swim home when she was strong enough.

Although we looked after her the best we could, unfortunately this lovely animal was too used to tropical temperatures, and her time spent in the waters off New Zealand (10 degrees colder than her home) meant that she didn’t make it.

Watch a video of the turtle having a CT scan.

More animal case studies

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