'Ridley' the sea turtle moved to larger pool

(Wellington Zoo)
(Wellington Zoo)

A CT scan has been scheduled for a sea turtle in critical condition at Wellington Zoo to give vets a better idea of her health.

The northern hemisphere turtle, named 'Ridley' by zoo staff, washed up in a bad state on Lyall Bay beach with hypothermia at the weekend.

A long way from home, Ridley and her kind would normally be found in the warmer waters of the South Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans including the Atlantic coasts of West Africa and South America.

She was brought back to the Zoo's vet clinic The Nest where she was checked and had a break in her shell patched up.

Vets say it was difficult for them to even register a temperature and they'd only known she was alive was because her eye responded to touch.

An x-ray of her lungs cleared her of having pneumonia and she was kept in a makeshift spa bath using a child-sized, shell-shaped paddling pool.

Zoo staff today confirmed the 25kg turtle had been moved into a bigger pool which was normally used for treating sea birds.

A spokeswoman for the zoo said Ridley was moving more and the pool she'd been moved into was deeper and "at least twice the size" than the previous pool.

She's being kept in an off-display area rather than the large salt-water pool in public view because the water temperature needs to be a consistent temperature.

While zoo staff say she's still in a critical condition, they are pleased the turtle is moving more though isn't up to swimming again.

Zoo staff are monitoring the turtle's bowel movements, to ensure her stomach is functioning properly.

In the meantime, she has been receiving fluids to keep her hydrated.

A CT scan has been scheduled for Friday to find out whether Ridley has any internal injuries, which will help vets build a better picture of her overall health. 

Once the results from the scan come through, they will be able to update her prognosis.

The zoo has been in contact with Kelly Tarlton's in Auckland which has offered to help Ridley with its Sea Turtle Rehabilitation and Release programme once she is medically fit.

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