Myr­tle the Tur­tle in good hands

Pilbara News - - News - Sophia Con­stan­tine

South Hed­land Vet­eri­nary Hospi­tal vets have suc­cess­fully come to the aid of a 38kg salt­wa­ter tur­tle which was at­tacked by a shark.

The tur­tle was brought into the clinic by rangers af­ter a res­i­dent spot­ted the in­jured tur­tle, which has been named Myr­tle, at Spoil­bank beach in Port Hed­land on Tues­day, May 22.

Vet­eri­nar­ian Dr Char­lotte Krisan­ski said ex­am­i­na­tions had made it clear the tur­tle had come off “sec­ond-best” to a shark and had suf­fered par­tial am­pu­ta­tion of one of her front flip­pers.

The clinic team started sup­port­ive care with an­tibi­otics and pain re­lief and took ra­dio­graphs of her in­jured flip­per to plan her surgery.

“Af­ter much con­sul­ta­tion with our Ex­mouth vet, Dr Jane Gil­iam, who has ex­per­tise in ma­rine life, it was de­cided re­mov­ing the rest of her flip­per would give Myr­tle the best chance of sur­vival,” she said.

“Af­ter a suc­cess­ful surgery which was quite risky for a tur­tle that doesn’t nor­mally have to breathe out of wa­ter for long pe­ri­ods of time, and es­pe­cially un­der anaes­thetic, we are thrilled to say Myr­tle is now re­cov­er­ing well.”

Myr­tle will re­ceive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in Ex­mouth by Dr Gil­iam, who is in talks with the Shire of Ex­mouth about es­tab­lish­ing a pur­pose-built tur­tle re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre.

Dr Gil­iam is also car­ing for another tur­tle, Bertha, who was brought up from Coral Bay with gas trapped in­side her be­cause of a par­a­site in­fec­tion.

“These are such in­cred­i­ble crea­tures and we are thank­ful as re­gional vets that we get the chance to help them get back on their feet again thanks to the gen­eros­ity of the lo­cal busi­nesses in Ex­mouth, be­cause ma­rine an­i­mals like this may not make it if they had to wait to be trans­ported to Perth for care,” she said.

Janelle Drury, Dr Josie Wil­liams, Dr Char­lotte Krisan­ski and, Dr Ta­mara Duirs with Myr­tle.

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