Malaysia: Dead turtle might have been victim of floating syndrome, couldn't dive for food: Marine biologist

KRISTY INUS New Straits Times 8 Mar 16;

SIPITANG: A turtle carcass was found at the beach next to Sipitang Rest House here.

Except for a blood pool underneath its mouth, the carcass looked intact. Marine biologist Scott Mayback when contacted said based on the pictures and with only minimal shell damage, it looked like the turtle was a possible victim of floating syndrome.

"It means the turtle might have slowly starved to death while trapped on the surface of the water due to an underlying increased buoyant that can be attributed to ingesting plastic among other causes," said Mayback, who overlooks a turtle rescue centre at Gaya Island Resort.

He said other possible causes are head trauma while alive, as indicated by the blood. Based on the size, Mayback said it could be an adult of over 30 years old.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said he had referred the matter to Sabah Parks and Sabah Wildlife Department for further action.


Turtle death due to head injury, not floater syndrome
KRISTY INUS New Straits Times 9 Mar 16;

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department has ruled out floater syndrome as the cause of death of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) found at Sipitang last night.

"A team from the department's Wildlife Rescue Unit was dispatched to the site immediately following the report.

"The carcass was then brought to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park here for a post mortem by WRU's veterinarians.

"The turtle was estimated to have been dead for four to five days before it was found washed up at the shore.

"A post mortem examination revealed that the turtle sustained a severe head trauma suggestive of a boat strike incident, most probably an unfortunate accident," said the Department in a statement, adding that no plastic or other foreign materials were found in the gastrointestinal tract.


Green turtle likely struck by boat
The Star 10 Mar 16;

KOTA KINABALU: An endangered adult green turtle found dead on the beach of Sabah’s western Sipitang is suspected to have been killed after being hit by a boat.

“A post-mortem revealed that the turtle sustained a severe head injury, probably from being struck by a boat,” Sabah Wildlife Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said yesterday.

The carcass of the metre-long green turtle (scientifically known as Chelonia mydas) was found on the beach in front of the Sipitang resthouse and was reported to the Sabah Wildlife Department on Tuesday night.

The Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) was dispatched to the site immediately .

The carcass was then brought to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park for a post-mortem by WRU’s veterinarians.

“The turtle was feeding well as its stomach and intestines were full of food material.

“No plastic or other foreign material was found in the gastrointestinal tract,” he said.

Dr Sen ruled out the possibility that the turtle could have consumed plastic which triggers an illness known as a floater syndrome. The turtle was an adult about 15 to 30 years old.


Green turtle carcass found on Sabah's Sipitang beach
MUGUNTAN VANAR The Star 9 Mar 16;

KOTA KINABALU: An endangered green turtle was found dead on the beach of Sabah’s western Sipitang here after it was hit by a boat at sea.
The carcass of the metre long green turtle (scientifically known as Chelonia mydas) was found on the beach in front of a Sipitang resthouse and was reported to the Sabah Wildlife Department on Tuesday night.

Sabah Wildlife Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said that a post-mortem on the decomposing turtle on Tuesday showed that it suffered severe head injuries.

"Our post-mortem finding revealed that the turtle, which was about 15 to 30 years old, sustained severe head trauma after being struck by a boat. A most unfortunate accident," he said Wednesday.

The Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) was dispatched to the site immediately following the report and the carcass was then brought to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park for a post-mortem by WRU's veterinarians.

Dr Sen said the turtle was already dead for four to five days before it was washed ashore, adding that there were no other causes of death.

"The turtle was feeding well as the stomach and intestines were full of food. No plastic or other foreign material were found in the gastrointestinal tract," he said while ruling out floater syndrome as cause of death.

Floater syndrome occurs when turtles accidentally swallow plastic found floating in the sea and mistaking them as food.

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