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Ocean Park Announces Loss of the Hawksbill Turtle which was sent to Ocean Park on 5 September 2013

2013-09-10

Ocean Park is saddened to announce the loss of a hawksbill turtle in the morning of 8 September 2013. The hawksbill turtle was confiscated by Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) and was sent to Ocean Park for examination and temporary holding on 5 September 2013. The Hawksbill Turtle which was 36cm long, weighed 3kg and was estimated at 10-20 years old appeared to be in good condition when it arrived at Ocean Park on 5 September 2013. However, after a detailed examination, our veterinary team found that it was underweight, and there was a metal fishing hook in its proximal esophagus, which was subsequently removed. Further radiographic examination also indicated that the hawksbill turtle had likely ingested non-food material prior to it’s arrival at Ocean Park.  The hawksbill turtle had been under close observation and intensive care by our veterinary team.

AFCD was notified of the incident immediately. Preliminary necropsy suggested there was marked gastroenteritis. Additional tissue samples have been collected for further analysis on the cause of the hawksbill turtle’s death.

Ocean Park has previously received a number of hawksbill turtles from AFCD through by-catch and stranding cases. Many of those have been released back to the wild if their health condition allowed.

Another hawksbill turtle which was saved by AFCD and sent to Ocean Park for temporary holding in August is now in stable and sound condition. It is expected to be released to the wild when its health condition permitted.