SAD DAY: Bobbie the Green Turtle was recently put down due to illness after a valiant fight to stay alive.
SAD DAY: Bobbie the Green Turtle was recently put down due to illness after a valiant fight to stay alive. Greg Bray

Plea to fishermen, boaties after sad death

WHEN Bobbie the Pacific Green Turtle arrived at the Quoin Island Turtle Sanctuary in March 2017 he was in a bad way.

Centre manager Bob McCosker said Bobbie had numerous injuries.

"He'd ingested a fish hook that had gone through his digestive tract,” he said.

"Plus he'd suffered two big boat strikes which had exposed the bone on half his shell.”

Bobbie was the one hundred and eighty-eight turtle to be bought to the sanctuary and volunteers did not hold much hope for his survival.

"We weren't expecting Bobbie to make it as his injuries were so severe,” Mr McCosker said.

"The exposed bone died and we thought we were going to lose him.”

He said Bobbie quickly proved to be a very resilient turtle.

"It was amazing to witness, he started to grow new bone under the old bone,” Mr McCosker said.

"After a long time his shell started to heal as well, but was very deformed.

For 21 months Bobbie recovered in the centre's pool with the other turtles undergoing rehabilitation.

"He started to go downhill again,” Mr McCosker said.

"X-rays indicated Bobbie had a collapsed lung, and to help him heal we were administering oxygen, but in the end it wasn't enough.

"After a CT-scan we discovered both lungs had collapsed.”

Mr McCosker made the heartbreaking decision to have Bobbie put down.

"Unfortunately we can't save them all,” he said.

"An autopsy will tell us if the collapsed lungs were caused by the fish hook or the boat strike.”

He made a plea to local boat owners.

"Turtle's lungs are right underneath their shells, so please slow down and take extra care during turtle nesting season from November to February,” Mr McCosker said.

"Also, don't discard fishing hooks, lines or glow sticks in the sea.

"This animal could have had a happy life, it wasn't necessary for it to die like this.”

If you see a sick or injured sea turtle, please phone 1300 animal or the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at 0408 431 304.



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