Australia: Mystery Turtle Deaths Stump Scientists In North Queensland
The experts have not ruled out poisoning and even drowning as a cause.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is investigating the deaths of the turtles found at Wunjunga Beach, about 100 kilometres south of Townsville.
The department’s director of threatened species, Wolf Sievers, said the vulnerable animals have been washing up on the beach for over a week.
‘It is very unusual for this many turtles to have stranded on one beach and we will be making every effort to establish what may have happened,’ Mr Sievers said.
Senior turtle expert Dr Ian Bell said that initial investigations found no injuries, no obvious signs of malnutrition or illness.
‘It’s a bit like turtle CSI, it’s all about ruling out possible alternatives,’ Dr Bell said.
‘We’re ruling out starvation. It doesn’t look like it’s any infectious type of disease, and it leaves us with two possibilities.
‘One is potential poisoning, and we’re also looking at the possibility of a drowning.
‘At this stage we really don’t know.’” Read more.