Thursday, September 14, 2017

How to Help an Injured or Stranded Sea Turtle

Shorelines are known for their pristine waters which attract turtles as well as other sea marines. Pollution, environmental degradation, the depletion in coastlines and the deposits of plastics and other garbage on the shores can harm their existence. It is an important matter which cannot be neglected at all. Sea turtles are known to eat almost anything including plastic scraps which can be harmful for their digestion and could result in intestinal blockage. The garbage on the shorelines very often includes fishing hooks which could also be ingested by a turtle and could severely damage it's digestive tract. Such hook if does not pass of in stools, tends to snag up on the intestinal wall, which would eventually rust in a matter of months causing further damage. Sea turtles also get caught in buoy lines, fishing nets and fishing lines. Once a turtle gets caught in such lines, it is very difficult, almost impossible for the turtle to escape through. Turtles can further be injured due to boat hits, which could damage their shells. Such hits can cause severe cuts or deformities on the turtle shell. The sudden strike of boat can also cause a severe damage to lungs or muscle damage.

Usually stranded or injured turtles come across with minor injuries such as a cut or infected flipper, cuts and bruises to the neck or shell. In some cases damage to a turtle could also lead to blood loss or severe bone damage. Most harm is often found happening to sea turtles like Oliver Ridley turtles, green turtles, hawks-bill turtles and even loggerhead turtles. The most prominent cause for injury in turtles is the trash that is dumped into the sea. A huge wave can throw the turtles far away from the sea which can leave them injured and lost. On such occasions we should do our best to help such stranded and injured sea turtles to get back to their home. Here are few tips which can be helpful in helping a injured or stranded sea turtles.

How to Help an Injured or Stranded Sea Turtle

1. If you ever come across a stranded or injured sea turtle, it is best to contact the wildlife control room or the forest department. If you have no contact number of such official, it is best to inform the local police who may have the necessary contact details of such authorities. Share the exact location and other details of injury which you can manage to share out of the best judgement. It is very important to judge the injury which needs to be reported for immediate care and attention.

2. If you come across a nestling female or an injured turtle, it is best to turn off the flashlights and mobile phone camera. Nestling females get scared with too much of light. Few people have a habit of taking selfies with anything they come across, which should at least be avoided in such cases, as camera flash can scare the injured animal more and it may try to move, even if it has an injury which can further aggravate the problem.

3. Do not attempt to touch or move the turtle, if it looks like it is injured. Until you get an idea of the severity of the injury of this turtle, it is better to stay far off and just observe the turtle for any injuries. A sudden movement like trying to move or pick the sea turtle can cause severe damage to its vital organs.

4. If you realize that the injured sea turtle you came across has broken flippers, do not try to move the flippers for further examination, as it could cause severe pain to the animal.

5. Do not try and lift a sea turtle without determining it's actual weight and physical strength. It is possible that you may try to lift the turtle but due to it's heaviness it could slip from your hands, injuring it further.

6. If the sea turtle attempts to pass by to the sea on it's own, allow it to do. Just follow him till it reaches the sea but do not push it unnecessarily. Try and remove any obstacle that is in his way such as plastic bags, chairs, mats. See to it that he has a safe and hurdle free passage. Do not shout and make severe noises. Be quiet and keep a distance. Loud voices can further scare the animal.

7. Do not try and open the mouth of a turtle, as it can bite your fingers or take a chunk out of your skin easily.

8. If you find people crowding around the turtle, please request them to stay away and keep distance.

9. If the sea turtle you found looks dehydrated or seems to be out of water for a long time, arrange to get some sea water with the helps of the onlookers, and pour the sea water slowly on the turtle, to keep him hydrated. You can also soak some towels with sea water and place it close to an injured turtle around it's neck and flippers, till the requested authority makes it's presence and the sea turtle is attended for injuries.

10. If you wonder how to treat a turtle wound it is best to leave it to the experts. Do not try and apply antibiotic or turmeric on the wound of a sea turtle. This application may further aggravate the problem.

The litter is one of the most important problem that needs to be taken care of. Sea waves throw litter from the sea which also gets deposited on the beaches. While walking on the beach if you come across broken fishing nets, fishing hooks or plastic litter, pick them up and throw in the nearest bin. We can play our part as a good Samaritan, which  if helps even one marine animal, then is really worth it.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...