40yo turtle from Lake Macquarie undergoes life-saving surgery

A turtle from the shores of Lake Macquarie has undergone life-saving surgery at Taronga Zoo’s wildlife hospital in Sydney.

She was taken into the Sydney wildlife hospital after being noticed in the water at Lake Macquarie floating, and weak.

The female green turtle is believed to be roughly 40-years-old and had to undergo a five-hour surgery to remove seven fishing hooks and line it had ingested.

The wildlife hospital’s Senior Veterinarian Larry Vogelnest said he has never seen so many fishing hooks inside one turtle, so it was a very difficult and delicate surgery.

The vets did remove all of the hooks but they certainly did some damage the turtle’s insides.

She’s not quite out of the woods yet, but vets are optimistic about her recovery saying the turtle is already swimming around in the hospital rehab pool and eating.

Vets also noticed her shell had some damage – its understood locals noticed the injury about two months ago that could be the result of being struck by a boat.

The Taronga Wildlife Hospital team is urging anglers to always discard of fishing hooks and lines, and if you accidentally hook a turtle or a bird such as a cormorant, please reach out to a wildlife rescue organisation for assistance of bring the animal to the Taronga Wildlife Hospital or a local vet.

Images: Taronga Zoo Sydney, Facebook page