independent

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Castaway survives cold Wexford coastline

Volunteers at Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown nursed Ninja turtle back to health with subcutaneous fluid therapy, before getting her to eat fish again.
Volunteers at Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown nursed Ninja turtle back to health with subcutaneous fluid therapy, before getting her to eat fish again.
Ninja was barely breathing when first found at Kilmore Quay.

By Fintan Lambe

A SECOND loggerhead turtle, which was found alive along the Wexford coastline in recent weeks, has survived, and was cared for at the Seal Rescue Ireland Centre in Courtown.

Last week, it emerged that a loggerhead turtle more used to warm waters was found washed ashore before Christmas at Ballyhealy Beach, Kilmore. It later died. There was better news for another loggerhead turtle found before Christmas at Kilmore Quay. She was brought to the Seal Rescue Ireland centre in Courtown.

'We dry-docked the turtle when she first came in since she was even too weak to even take breaths,' said manager Meadow Greenwood. 'We warmed her up only a few degrees each day until she was up to normal temperature and swimming around her tub.'

The volunteers named her Ninja. They initially tried to get her to eat fish on her own, supplementing with subcutaneous fluid therapy. However they are not equipped to handle longer term care of turtles as they don't have large heated pools nor access to salt water.

'Short term care is no problem, and stabilising these cold stunned turtles before being transported long distances is important,' said Meadow. 'Ninja was our first turtle in the centre and we were extremely happy with her progress. Our fingers are still crossed for a full recovery and final ending of release.' She will have to be released into warmer waters such as in the Caribbean.

Over the weekend, Ninja was transported to Galway Aquarium where she will have a big tank to gain muscle strength.

The Courtown centre will provide care for any turtles if needed. If you spot a turtle, move it out of the high tide line and phone the rescue line at 087 1955393. It is very important not to try to warm the turtle, give it food or fluids, or put it back in the water.

Wexford People

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