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A lucky juvenile Green Turtle splashed back into the ocean at Port Stephens this week after lifesaving care at Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital.

A National Parks ranger brought the turtle to Taronga in June after it was rescued from a crab pot at Soldiers Point in Port Stephens.

It had been swimming in shallow water with a ‘witches hat” crab trap on its front right flipper and a nylon net and rope caught on the upper area of the flipper.

Its head was covered by netting.

A local veterinarian gave the youngster fluids and antibiotics before it was sent to Taronga Wildlife Hospital.

The wound from the crab pot injured the upper part of the animal’s flipper, which was very swollen and some skin sloughed from the underside of the flipper. 

Our veterinary team treated the turtle immediately with antibiotics and pain relief medication before X-raying it and taking blood samples. 

The turtle’s treatment continued for three weeks, with the water temperature in its rehab pool kept at 26 C to aid healing.

The hospital staff fed the turtle squid, pilchards, whitebait and greens. 

It cannot be sexed at this age over the past two weeks it was swimming well with no sign of soreness.  The wound will take several months to heal fully but needed no more treatment.  To enable the turtle to be ready for release into 18 C water at Port Stephens the temp in pool has been dropped at 1 deg. Centigrade per day to 18 C. 

Rangers collected the turtle last week and released it on Monday with a satellite tracker attached to provide more information about the habits of these young turtles. 

By Mark, Zoo Communications.

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