POIPU — Officials treated a green sea turtle after it was reported with shell and tail injuries in late March on Poipu Beach.
The turtle, which had lacerations on its tail and a grapefruit-sized indentation in its shell, has been released back into the wild after being treated by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s veterinarian on Kauai.
Mimi Olry, Kauai Marine Mammal Response field coordinator with the Department of Land and National Resources Division of Aquatic Resources, said Tuesday while the turtle has been released, it is still being monitored.
Besides the tail and shell injuries, the large male turtle received a clean bill of health, she said.
“Mimi and the response team will monitor the progress of the wound healing, as they are for another turtle also seen at Poipu with a shell and tail injury that is doing well,” said AJ McWhorter, DLNR spokesman.
The turtle was identified as KA2 on Monday, after examination of photos.
The cause of the carapace, or shell injury, isn’t known.
“These wounds to the shell can be caused by boat strikes, propellers or sharks,” McWhorter said.
Officials remind the public that most turtles who are on the beach are just fine, it’s normal activity for the species and many times the animals will lie still and look like they’re not breathing.
People should keep their distance and allow the animal to rest undisturbed, but if there’s obvious sign of injury — like an open wound or an entanglement — call the NOAA hotline, 888-256-9840.