Rare tur­tle dies in Auck­land

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTERS

A rare tur­tle which washed up thou­sands of kilo­me­tres from home has died at Auck­land Zoo.

The olive ri­d­ley tur­tle was found on Black­head Beach, south­ern Hawke’s Bay, on July 13 af­ter pos­si­bly be­ing blown off course by a storm.

It was taken to the Na­tional Aquar­ium at Napier, then trans­ferred to Auck­land Zoo for treat­ment.

Zoo vet Melanie Leech said the tur­tle was an adult male and could be have been up to 50 years old.

It was suf­fer­ing from ex­haus­tion and de­hy­dra­tion but was in a sta­ble con­di­tion on July 15.

How­ever, the tur­tle died in the early hours of Sat­ur­day morn­ing.

‘‘It’s al­ways tough when they don’t pull through. But this was a very, very sick tur­tle when it ar­rived, and based on its con­di­tion, the odds were, un­for­tu­nately, stacked against him,’’ Leech says.

‘‘It was re­ally good that he came in to us, as we could make him more com­fort­able and do our best to give him the best pos­si­ble chance.’’

The zoo’s vet team com­pleted a post mortem on the tur­tle and are wait­ing on re­sults.

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