Wednesday the 23rd of May was World Turtle Day and the Two Oceans Aquarium’s conservation team hosted a party on their rooftop to ‘shellabrate’. I was lucky enough to be invited & that’s where I met the newest addition: a beautiful green sea turtle named Moya, but this little girl has been through a lot to get there.
Moya arrived at the Two Oceans Aquarium in October 2017 after being found washed up on a beach near Sedgefield. She was weak, dehydrated and had a nasty-looking flipper injury. The turtle rehab centre staff started her treatment with a course of antibiotic and antifungal medications, thinking that an internal infection may have been the cause of her poor health. Turtle metabolisms are quite slow and their digestive systems become particularly slow if they’ve been floating for a long time due to some distress. This seemed to be the case with Moya – even after weeks in their care, she wasn’t pooping at all.
The team became quite worried about this and after a series of tests and X-rays they realised her gut wasn’t working properly. They changed her diet; feeding her small amounts of protein and high volumes of roughage – lots of sea lettuce and some crunchy prawns and crabs. This had the desired effect and they are very happy with her progress.
Moya seems to be making friends with Bob and Sandy in the I&J Ocean Exhibit and being there will also allow her to have greater freedom and stimulation while the team observes her for long enough to be confident her intestinal issues are healed. She is a gentle and coy soul with a beautiful smile and like her rescue buddies Bob and Sandy, she ‘turtley’ loves a good back scratch!
Moya’s story proves that amazing accomplishments are possible when people work together.