February 4, 2016
RESCUED TURTLE RESPONDING
WELL TO TREATMENT
A stranded sea turtle is responding well to treatment at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium.
The 20cms long juvenile was discovered on Gwithian Beach near Hayle at the beginning of January, with a large number of goose barnacles attached to her shell.
Initially there were fears the turtle was so unwell she would be unlikely to survive, however, following intensive care and treatment from aquarists, she began to respond.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s Steve Matchett said: “When she arrived with us she was very poorly indeed. She was very cold, dehydrated and extremely weak.
“For the first 36 hours we had to tube feed her every 90 minutes, with aquarists taking it in turns to work around the clock.
“Over a period of weeks we very gradually raised the temperature of the water and she began to become more active. As her condition has improved she has now started to swim on her own and is also able to feed herself.
“We have seen her weight increase over the last week, however she is still not out of danger and we need to monitor whether she has suffered any significant internal injuries before we can be confident she is on the way to a full recovery,” he added.
Due to the levels of interest in her condition and the number of sea turtles which have stranded around the UK coast in recent weeks, the aquarium is planning to run a Turtle Week themed event over the half term holidays (February 12th-21st).
The event will include a special update exhibition dedicated to the stranded turtle’s recovery which will include videos of her treatment, as well as feeding sessions with the aquarium’s resident rescued blind sea turtle Omiros.
Visitors will also be able to enter a competition to come up with an appropriate name for her.
• Turtle Week (Feb 12th-21st) is taking place at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium, Towan Promenade, Newquay TR7 1DU. For more information call 01637 878134, visit www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk/newquay of find us on Facebook.
What to do if you find a stranded turtle*:
• Do not attempt to put the turtle back into the sea
• Wrap in a towel soaked in seawater, don’t cover nostrils
• Place in a secure place on its belly and do not attempt to warm the animal up, keep it at the same temperature you found it
• If inactive, raise the back end of the shell so the turtle is resting at approximately 30° to drain lungs
• Contact Marine Environmental Monitoring on 01239 683033, the RSPCA on 0300 1234999 or British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546
*These rules do not apply to leatherback turtles which can be carefully re-floated if uninjured. Please check with an expert first.