By Derek Schlennstedt
The vets at Healesville Sanctuary’s Australian Wildlife Health Centre are celebrating the arrival of two new hatchlings, after saving a wounded pregnant turtle.
In November, Lucia, a Common Long-necked Turtle was brought to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre after being rescued from a dog attack.
The little turtle needed emergency surgery upon arrival and, once x-rayed, vets realised Lucia was pregnant with 13 little eggs – which would have to be removed for her own health.“The strain of laying these eggs post-surgery would have meant that her injuries would struggle to heal” said Senior Veterinarian Leanne Wicker “so we performed an emergency caesarean and took on the job of incubating and hatching the eggs on behalf of mum.”
After waiting patiently for just over two months, Lucia’s first two eggs hatched and mum and both bubs were released back into the wild two weeks ago in Garfield where they were found.
On Thursday 15 February she was joined by two more babies.
Australian Wildlife Health Centre vet nurse, Ellen Richmond, who has been caring for the new arrivals said it has been a rewarding experience saving and releasing the turtles back into the wild.
“It’s really rewarding to release these little ones back to the wild because we gave them a chance at life and ultimately that’s why we are here.”