A rare olive ridley turtle spent last night at the National Aquarium of New Zealand before being transported to Auckland Zoo for further treatment.
The species, also known as the Pacific ridley, is normally found in the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean, so it was quite a surprise for a Blackhead Beach resident who found the turtle lying on the southern Hawke’s Bay beach, he told his neighbour, Department of Conservation Ranger Rod Hansen.
“It’s very rare to see this type of turtle this far down the coast,” says Mr Hansen. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first olive ridley to have been found here.”
Mr Hansen rescued the turtle and immediately gave the Aquarium a call, says Aquarium Manager Rob Yarrall.
A staff member transported the turtle, believed to be female judging by the shape of the tail and shell, to the Aquarium yesterday. After seeking further advice from the veterinarians who work with the Aquarium, as well as talking with Auckland Zoo, it was decided she should head north today.
The turtle, whose shell measures 63cm in length, certainly has the “wow” factor for staff, says Mr Yarrall.
“We’ve had greens, hawkbills, loggerheads and leatherbacks here, but never in the history of the Aquarium have we had one of these here.”
Senior keeper Kerry Hewitt was tasked with transporting the turtle to the Zoo this afternoon. Mr Yarrall says it is possible the animal had been caught in a storm, blown off course and came ashore exhausted. She might also be ill, he says, which is why Auckland is the best option for her.
“She can receive specialised care there. Ideally, she can then be taken to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, which has turtle rehabilitation facilities, and once recovered, be released back into the wild.”
12 May 2017
Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Napier City Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Napier City Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Napier City Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.
© Napier City Council - www.napier.govt.nz / +64 6 835 7579 / firstname.lastname@example.org