Our Vet team recently performed essential surgery on a loggerhead turtle with a severe bone infection with the hope that one day, it could be released into the wild. 
You may remember when this turtle arrived at our Vet Hospital late last year when it was found in Kaikoura, by a concerned member of the public, with an open wound on its right flipper and covered in barnacles – the latter a common finding on very sick sea turtles.
When our vet team performed an initial exam, they found that the flipper injury had caused a severe untreatable infection of the bone underneath, and it's likely it had been living with this injury for weeks, possibly months, in the wild. First, it was important to get the turtle stabilised, so that it would have a good chance of recovering from such a serious surgery. Dr Melanie and our veterinary resident Dr Stefan carried out the surgery and say they’re “cautiously optimistic” about the prognosis of this precious sea turtle.

This loggerhead is being cared for and rehabilitated at Kelly Tarltons – one of the key members of Team Turtle along with us, the Department of Conservation and Air New Zealand – who bring the turtle back to Auckland Zoo periodically for re-assessment and, in this case, for the surgery.
We’re hopeful the turtle will be able to recover, be rehabilitated and one day be able to be released into the wild, but until then we will continue to check on its progress while it is cared for at Kelly Tarltons.
If you see wildlife in need, please don’t approach them, but call our conservation partners at the Department of Conservation via the hotline (0800 DOC HOT) and alert them of the situation.