By The Nation
Dr Nantarika Chansue, head of the Veterinary Medical Aquatic Animal Research Centre at Chulalongkorn University, on Wednesday conducted a health inspection of the 20-year-old female green turtle that swam upstream in Bang Pakong River and was found more than 80 kilometres away from the sea.
Nantarika said the marine turtle was healthy and could be released back into the sea. However, the veterinarian team gave it an antibiotic and vitamin shots to boost its health before contacting the Marine and Coastal Resources Department to pick it up and return it to the sea.
The green turtle was found in Bang Pakong River, in the Khlong Khuean district of Chachoengsao province. It was rescued by local people and brought to the Chachoengsao Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre.
Nantarika explained that the turtle may have lost his way because of the intrusion of saltwater into the river, as a result the turtle may not have realised it was no longer in the sea. When a turtle finds itself in freshwater, it will be confused and cannot find its way back to the sea, she explained.
“For a green turtle, the most suitable salinity of water is higher than 20 grams per litre and not less than 15 grams per litre. But the salinity at the spot where people found this turtle was only 3 grams per litre. Being in freshwater for a long time can harm the kidney of the turtle,” she stated.
“Luckily, this turtle is healthy and can be released back into the sea without any special treatment. I have to thank the people who helped save this turtle and did not cause it any harm.”