Gloucestershire

Snorkel the loggerhead turtle's brain scan result 'good'

Turtle brain scan
Image caption Snorkel's MRI scan has revealed no sign of a brain tumour

A brain scan on a rare loggerhead turtle, carried out in Cheltenham, has shown no obvious signs of abnormality.

Vets were concerned about Snorkel's health and wanted to see if she had a brain tumour.

Snorkel was brought to the scanning unit from the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth because an extra large MRI scanner was needed to accommodate her.

Results of the scan are still being analysed by radiologists but initial prognosis was said to be "very good".

'Doing great'

Dr David Gibson, managing director of the national marine aquarium, said: "It went very, very well. Snorkel went through the procedure and she was back in her tank at the aquarium [in Plymouth] for about 5pm on Saturday.

"She fed within half an hour and since then she's being doing great."

Snorkel, who was found washed up on a beach in Penzance in 1990, is blind in one eye, has 30% vision in the other and suffers from spinal deformation and buoyancy problems.

Image caption Snorkel had to be lightly sedated while being scanned

She also suffers from a form of epilepsy which causes her to fit, and receives regular medication to keep the condition under control.

"These fits could be linked to some underlying brain condition," said Dr Gibson.

"The MRI scan was to image the brain to make sure there was no malignant tumour growth and nothing there impeding development."

The scan, at a private hospital, also revealed that Snorkel is carrying eggs, which although not fertile, show her overall health to be good, Dr Gibson added.

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