KOTA KINABALU: An endangered green sea turtle, believed to be suffering from 'floater syndrome', was rescued by guests of a resort off Gaya Island, near here, on Tuesday.
The turtle was spotted floating at sea by guests and surf team of Shangri-la’s Rasa Ria Resort at 11.55am.
Sabah Wildlife Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said the group tried to push the turtle back further toward open water but the reptile kept swimming back to them.
Turtles with 'floater syndrome', a condition caused by excess accumulation of gas in the body, could not dive for food or protection.
“So, they eventually decided to bring it to shore. SWD’s Widlife Rescue Unit (WRU) was informed of this and proceeded to go to the site. We advised the staff to put the animal in a freshwater tub, but they were unable to do so.
“They dug a hole instead, put a canvas and pour freshwater in it while waiting for our arrival.
“(There's) no visible injuries except for an old wound and no signs of dehydration. The turtle was then placed in the sea to confirm the condition," he said in his Facebook post, today.
Sen, who is also WRU head, said the team later took the turtle to YTL Gaya Island Resort for further treatment.
“It’s not a disease but a syndrome developed as a result of some other cause or causes. For one reason or another, gas accumulates in the gut and body cavity of a sea turtle rendering it unable to dive.
“This condition can be due to an ingestion of plastics that causes an obstruction and accumulation of gas in the coelomic cavity,” said Sen.
He said WRU team took X-rays, forced fed the turtle and performed Coelomocentesis procedure to remove the excess air from the coelomic cavity.
“After the procedure, the turtle appeared more active and alert. However, its condition is still serious and will need a few weeks of monitoring and treatment.” he said.