Loggerhead Abby stars on World Turtle Day at Auckland’s Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s

Her species has been part of the marine ecosystem for millions of years.

But wild populations are falling and single-use plastic is a particularly serious threat when turtles mistake it for food, and sometimes turtles like Abby need our help.

The rescued loggerhead turtle is today the star of a behind-the-scenes video at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium in Auckland in a move to raise awareness of sea turtles in the wild.

Abby, one of the newest residents in the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, was rescued from Baylys Beach in Northland in December after she was found to have a severe bone infection and a large open wound on her right flipper.

That flipper was later amputated during surgery at Auckland Zoo, but her future is still looking bright.

Abby's journey to rehabilitation began when she was discovered on Baylys Beach in Northland. File photo / Jason Oxenham
Abby’s journey to rehabilitation began when she was discovered on Baylys Beach in Northland. File photo / Jason Oxenham

In a video to mark World Turtle Day, aquarist Kim Evans took viewers behind the scenes for a health check on Abby.

The turtle was weighed – she’s 27.5kg – measured, photographed, had her amputation stump checked and was given her medication before being returned to a pool in the rehabilitation centre, which was recently upgraded after a contribution from Countdown.

But Abby would soon be on the move, with plans to transfer her to the Turtle Bay display at the aquarium to give visitors the opportunity to see her before she is eventually released back into the ocean, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s said.

The aquarium is open under Covid-19 alert level 2.

Abby’s rehabilitation is a collaborative effort involving the aquarium, the Department of Conservation and Auckland Zoo, with support from Countdown.

As well as reducing, reusing and recyling, not littering, and picking up any rubbish on beaches, people could also help turtles by reporting any they find injured or stranded, the aquarium said.

This can be done by calling 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).


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