Death of turtles probed

Wildlife Rescue Unit team inspecting a dead turtle in Kota Belud.

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife officials are trying to determine what killed two female Green turtles that were found washed ashore in the northern Kota Belud district and in Likas near here on Tuesday.

Sabah Wildife Department director Augustine Tuuga said both animals showed signs of high amount of toxins in their bodies.

He said the first turtle, measuring about 94cm long, was found at the Rang Bulan beach in Kota Belud.

It was estimated to be at least 30 years old and had a severely bleeding respiratory tract.

“In most cases, the haemorrhages in the vital organs are due to toxicity related to red tide or toxins thrown into the sea or water pollution,” he said.

Tuuga said the second turtle that was estimated to be at least 20 years old and was about 60cm long was also found to have bleeding liver and intestines.

“We also found a fishing hook in the neck. This may not have been the cause of death but it could also caused a way for bacteria to enter the body,” he added.

Tuuga said the department would send samples of both turtles for further analysis to a toxicology laboratory.

“We intend to send samples for tests to analyse the tissues at the cellular level,” he added.

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Environment , East Malaysia , turtles


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