Sea turtle Moya is being nursed back to health. Picture: Renee Leeuwner
An endangered green sea turtle is getting an abundance of TLC at the Two Oceans Aquarium’s turtle rehab-and-release facility.

It was rescued from the brink of death by a passer-by who found the turtle motionless and on its back on Cola Beach near Sedgefield last week.

When rolled over, the turtle slowly began to move and help was called. The turtle had a large open wound on its flipper.

The Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness & Rehabilitation Centre responded. Resident veterinary nurse Hanlie Roux said once the turtle arrived, its wound was cleaned and it was placed in a special bath at room temperature.

“The special bath aids in rehydrating the turtle. The temperature needed to be slowly raised as the turtle was very weak and in hypothermic shock. It was also placed under an infra-red lamp and given a daily injection of ringers, key in the turtle’s rehydration and recovery process,” Roux said.

After a few days, it was decided that the turtle was strong enough to be moved to the aquarium’s rehab-and-release centre.

Thanks to the generosity of CemAir, it was secured in a comfy crate and loaded aboard a flight to Cape Town.

The turtle has since been named “Moya”, Xhosa for “air” or “wind”, a reference to his plane journey.

On arrival, aquarium staff brought Moya to its veterinary clinic and the slow process of recovery began. The rehab team has since determined that Moyo is a juvenile aged between eight and 12 years. The team is unsure of whether Moya is a male or female.

Aquarium spokesperson Renée Leeuwner said: “We will continue to monitor the turtle’s recovery and administer medication as needed. We are treating the turtle with antibiotics for a possible infection of the wound.

“Because sea turtles are able to survive for long periods of time in a compromised state, this sea turtle will take a very long time to just return to a semi-normal state. Once it is healed and its health assessment checks out, it will be released. This might take a couple of months or years.”

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