February 15, 2012

Severly Injured Olive Ridley Turtle

Today in the morning I have got a call from our station cook, that some tourist found a injured Olive Ridley Turtle in Guiones, one of the neighbouring beaches to Ostional.
When I arrived at the station, the four men just carried her drapped into wet towels into the station.
I don't know what I expected, but certainly not what I saw when we removed the towels. The turtle had nasty bite wounds in her two shoulders which left the bones and joints exposed. Pretty much all of the connective tissue was removed.
By the time of her arrival she was already very weak, and we couldn't detect if she is still able to move her flippers, since they were lying limply next to her. The men said though that they found her crawling down to the water line after depositing her eggs.
When they found her she was already badly injured, and nothing in her direct surroundings suggested of what delivered those nasty bites. We think, according to the size of the wounds, that it could have been dogs. The surprising thing is just that we have never seen a dog attacking a perfectly healthy turtle. So it might be that she has come up onto the beach already wounded, perhaps due to a fisheries incident.
We took her to a vet in Guiones, but she couldn't do anything for her anymore.

Ridley female covered in towel at arrival.
Injured Ridley female with wounds at both shoulders clearly visible.

Still breathing but already to weak to raise her head.

Ridge of carapace with bite marks.

Left shoulder area with wound.

Right shoulder area with wound and exposed bone.

Wound on left rear flipper.

Wound on rear flipper, close-up.

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