In a tale that’s all too relevant this Plastic Free July, we recently had a sick sea turtle patient at our Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital.

Flown in by the Department of Conservation from Ninety Mile Beach after being found by a concerned member of the public, this turtle’s shell was in the worst condition our vets had ever seen – completely wrapped in a thick blanket of moss and covered in goose barnacles that would have made it difficult for the turtle to swim and indicated it had been unwell for a long time. 

Once it arrived at the hospital, our vet team took X-rays, bloods and set the turtle up in an intensive care unit. 


An endangered green sea turtle arrives at our Vet Hospital

An important message for us all to reduce, reuse and recycle

Sadly, after two days, the endangered turtle finally succumbed to its condition – which a post-mortem revealed that it was emaciated with two bits of plastic found inside its intestines as well as a long piece of knotted twine and extensive sun damage to its shell.

This is an important message for all of us to help clean up our oceans and choose to reuse. We’re doing out bit with our pledge to become single-use plastic water bottle free this July and over time phasing out all single-use plastic (we have been plastic bag free for seven years!).

Stay tuned for water station updates later this month as we will be encouraging visitors to BYO your own water bottles or purchase a new Zoo re-useable bottle from our cafes and WildZone gift shop.