By Marika Hill
Wildlife veterinarians remain hopeful for a sick turtle.
Biopsy results revealed the endangered, green turtle is suffering from fungal pneumonia. NZ Wildlife Health Centre veterinarian Kerri Morgan said the turtle was receiving daily medication, but the survival rate of turtles in Australia wildlife centres are just 30 per cent.
She estimated that the turtle's odds were roughly the same here in New Zealand. "We are hopeful, but we have to be realistic that she might not [make it]," she said.
In a fight for the turtle's survival, veterinarians have sent her for a CT scan, drilled a hole in her shell to take a biopsy, and inserted an intravenous line.
She is resting in a shallow, warm-water pool to keep her temperature up – she is used to the tropical waters of Australia.
"We're being aggressive in diagnosis and treatment. We're doing all we can," Ms Morgan said.
It is the first visit by a turtle to Massey University's Wildlife Centre, forcing staff to call an Australian zoo and search textbooks for advice.
She washed up on Otaki's shores last week suffering dehydration, cold shock and critically low protein and iron levels.
Although adult turtles are herbivorous, vets are feeding the rare green sea turtle a fish mixture, normally formulated for cats and dogs, after seeking advice from Australian veterinarians.
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