By : Ann Kunz
On the 12th April this year, during the worst floods that KZN has experienced in decades, Toby, a young green turtle was found lying upside down on the beach in Richards Bay.
Transport from Richards Bay to Durban was impossible due to the April 2022 floods so she was cared for in Richards Bay for two days until the roads were safe enough to travel again..
Under the guidance of the turtle rehabilitation staff, she was kept safe and warm and given freshwater baths to help with rehydration and left to rest.
On arrival at uShaka Sea World, Toby was a little tired but otherwise appeared to be healthy with no physical injuries. Toby’s carapace was free of both algal growth and epibiota, but she was unfortunately positively buoyant and unable to dive.
Radiographs revealed gas in her coelomic cavity. As Toby’s bloods didn’t reveal anything of concern, we opted to allow Toby time to rest and regain her strength by providing supportive care.
Toby is currently undergoing her pre-release medicals and once these are completed, we will apply for her relevant release permits.
“Toby’s recovery was a rapid one and we are so excited that she is almost ready for release. We are very grateful that the Ison family from Richards Bay were able to assist us with this rescue and that Toby was able to remain safe until she could be transported to the turtle hospital. We rely on the support of both Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the KZN Stranding Network to co-ordinate rescues, without which our ability to help stranded turtles would be a lot more challenging,” said Lead Aquarist, Malini Pather.