By: Ann Kunz
On Sunday 19th April a sub adult green turtle (Chelonia mydas) was admitted to uShaka Sea World after being found stranded on a beach at La Mercy.
We estimate that she is between 8 and 10 years old but it is difficult to say for certain as growth rates are dependent on a variety of factors. At this stage we are unable to determine her sex but because she is such a tenacious fighter, we have decided she must be female and have named her Gabby.
It was apparent that Gabby had been floating for quite some time before stranding as her carapace, flippers and head are covered in epibiota; in this case barnacles. She is still very weak and although not severely dehydrated, she is barely able to move or lift her head.
Shortly after her arrival the vet and turtle rehabilitation team conducted preliminary diagnostic tests, the results of which indicated some concern for her white blood count and total protein levels. Radiographs taken today suggest possible pneumonia. Our veterinarian, Dr Lampen, has administered IV fluids to stabilise her and antibiotics to help with any possible infection.
In an effort to rehydrate her, we are administering sub-cutaneous fluids and leaving her to rest in a shallow fresh-water bath.
We will continue to monitor her closely over the next few days and we hope that she keeps fighting!
We will keep you updated on her progress.