Malaysia: Two dead turtles found washed up on Sabah shores within two days

OLIVIA MIWIL New Straits Times 5 Jul 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Two dead turtles have been found in the Sabah west coast over the span of two days.

The Sabah Wildlife Department said it was alerted yesterday to the discovery of a female turtle, found dead at the Lok Kelia beach in Kota Belud, about a 90-minute drive from here.

Department director Augustine Tuuga said the team went to the scene after people shared the information on Twitter.

“Our checks showed that the probable cause of death was chronic respiratory problem as all respiratory tracts were severely haemorrhaged.

“No gastrointestinal tracts underwent significant changes although we did find some seaweed,” he said in a statement, adding the seaweed was a species grown for human consumption.

Based on the postmortem result, the 94cm-green turtle, aged in its 30's, might have visited one of those seaweed farms for her last meal.

Meanwhile, the department was alerted again to the discovery of yet another dead turtle, this time at Tanjung Lipat in Likas about 9am today.

Reports indicated that the turtle's shell had dried up and both its eyes appeared to be bleeding.

A witness, Mohd Razi Samsuddin, 16, said they saw the turtle's carcass, about half a meter long, floating in the sea around 7am before someone took it to the beach.

Female turtle’s death being investigated
The Star 6 Jul 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife officials are trying to determine the cause of death of a female turtle that was found on a beach in Kota Belud on Tuesday.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the turtle, which was estimated to be at least 30 years old, was bleeding from its respiratory tract.

“It could have been an infection. Our veterinarians are trying to find out what happened to it,” he said yesterday.

Augustine said the public stumbled across the 94cm-long dead turtle at the Lok Kelia beach, and the department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit later retrieved the carcass for post-mortem.

The female turtle is believed to have fed on cultivated seaweed before its death.

“While there were no signs of changes in its gastrointestinal tract, we found some seaweed – the type that is grown for human consumption,” Augustine said.

The turtle may have visited one of those farms for food, he added.