Minderoo dies, organs were already shutting down

Daneka HillNorth West Telegraph
Minderoo after being taken from the shipping channel she had been floating in.
Camera IconMinderoo after being taken from the shipping channel she had been floating in. Credit: PPA

The turtle Minderoo who was taken from waters in the Port of Port Hedland and rushed by car and truck relay to the Ningaloo Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre has died.

Dr Jane Giliam said staff had worked hard to nurse the fully-grown green sea turtle back to health but her organs were likely already shutting down by the time she reach them.

“She was unfortunately so severely underweight and was so sick we really had to battle,” Dr Giliam said.

As a result of ingesting plastic the turtle started to build up gas in her stomach and intestines, causing her to float on the surface of the ocean.

“She would have just starved and starved and starved,” Dr Giliam explained.

Minderoo the green sea turtle being transported out of the Port of Port Hedland.
Camera IconMinderoo the green sea turtle being transported out of the Port of Port Hedland. Credit: PPA

The Pilbara Port Authority, who were the ones to remove her from the busy harbour, broke the news she had died over the weekend.

Minderoo is the second sick and floating turtle the PPA have retrieved and sent on to Ningaloo Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

Dr Giliam has nominated the PPA for a RSPCA WA Humane Award for the organisations efforts getting sick sea turtles into care.

“They go out of their way, they don’t have to do it, but they do,” she explained.

“I thought well, jolly well why not [nominate them]?”

Dr Giliam wished to use the opportunity of Minderoo’s high publicity to educate the public about the need to rush floating, sick or injured turtles to veterinary care as quickly as possible.

Minderoo had originally been taken to South Hedland Vets, then was transported by Townlink Couriers to Karratha where she was driven on to Exmouth in the back of a Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association volunteer’s car.

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