Famed vet nursing sick turtle back to health

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Veterinarians from Chulalongkorn University are trying to nurse a sick sea turtle rescued by the Royal Thai Navy on Dongtan Beach back to health.

Doctors from the Aquatic Animal Health Research Institute were called May 25 to the navy’s Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Sattahip after center caretakers rescued the endangered female green turtle from the Najomtien beachfront a day earlier.

The turtle’s was severely dehydrated and its lips had turned brown. Rescuers said the turtle, around 15 years old and weighing 70 kg. was struggling against the waves.

Dr. Nantarika Chansue and helpers try to rehydrate this 15-year-old female turtle to bring it back to health.Dr. Nantarika Chansue and helpers try to rehydrate this 15-year-old female turtle to bring it back to health.

Famed turtle vet Dr. Nantarika Chansue said she suspects the turtle ingested either poison on a plastic bag, which led to pneumonia and emphysema.

Nantharika earned acclaim when she became the first in Thailand to develop an artificial turtle shell for injured reptiles in 2001.

She said all she can do is give intravenous fluids and antibiotics to help eliminate the obstacle that the turtle had ingested. She also planned to x-ray the animal to determine if there is an intestinal blockage.

Floating plastic bags are a leading cause of death among Thailand’s endangered turtles, as the reptiles often mistaken for jellyfish, one of their favorite foods.