25 February 2014
We're well known for our crocs and koalas, but did you know we also have amazing turtles on display at Australia Zoo, as well as recovering in the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital?
Our hospital sees hundreds of aquatic patients each year, with around 186 turtles having been treated in the past 12 months. One of the most common conditions is "floating", a build-up of gas in the gastrointestinal tract of a turtle. Usually caused by a parasitic fluke infestation, a "floating" turtle is unable to submerge itself in water to swim. Our incredible vets rehabilitate numerous "floating" turtles through a two-week treatment process, followed by a bit of extra recovery time before releasing them back into the wild.
One hospital patient made a break-through this week when she finally submerged herself underwater after five months of recovery in the Wildlife Hospital. Gemma the green sea turtle weighs a whopping 90 kgs, and has impressed our vet team with her recent progress. She is joined by other much smaller "floating" turtles Angel and Taryn, both of whom are starting to submerge and are on the road to recovery.
While you wouldn't see our turtle patients on a hospital visit (they live behind-the-scenes so they can recover properly), Australia Zoo has plenty of healthy freshwater turtles on display to the public, including saw shells, Brisbane river turtles, and broadshell turtles. Make sure you say hi next time you're here - There are some great, cheeky personalities in the group, and they are sure to brighten smiles!
Some more friendly inhabitants of Australia Zoo are our four Aldabran tortoises. Coconut and Jarvis live on their own paradise island, so be sure to keep an eye out for them when walking to Africa! Meanwhile, Igloo and Goliath are our two brothers that can be seen within the zoo. In their late 30's, these guys are just in the early stages of their life, with Aldabran tortoises often living well over one hundred years of age. You can book in for our awesome tortoise encounter to meet Igloo and Goliath, join in their feeding time, and have your photo taken with them.
We look forward to welcoming you at Australia Zoo soon to enjoy all our aquatic and land animal action!