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Turtle rehab

Torika Tokalau
Wednesday, March 05, 2014

A GREEN turtle found at Suva Point last week by an outrigger team will be kept for recovery at the Galoa Fisheries station for two to three weeks.

"Efforts will be placed in getting the air out and feeding it with antibiotics to prevent the bacteria from getting into other parts of the body," said WWF South Pacific marine species projects officer Laitia Tamata.

The turtle which was 85cm wide and 90cm long was badly injured when the paddlers found it.

"A part (about 20 per cent) of the turtle's carapace was injured and crack marks were visible," Mr Tamata said.

"It seems like it has been on its back for quite some time because of the white marks around the injured part and also at the tip of both flippers which indicates struggle or flapping around of the turtle.

"Also, it can be detected from the looks of it that it has been in fresh water for some time because it looked clean without having any marine related fauna and flora.

"It cannot dive because the gut cavity has filled up with air."

Mr Tamata said it was the second time in the past 15 months on Viti Levu that a turtle was found; three turtles were found on Vanua Levu.

"This proves there's awareness out there and not only in communities," he said.

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