Wales

Scan results 'good news' for health of stranded sea turtle

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Media captionMenai the turtle has had a scan and it is 'good news'

A rare sea turtle discovered washed up on an Anglesey beach is closer to full health after scans revealed why she found it difficult to dive.

The turtle, nicknamed Menai, was taken to Hertfordshire's Royal Veterinary College amid concerns she might be unable to return to sea.

Scans discovered Menai has gas on her lungs and is suffering lung damage.

But Anglesey Sea Zoo, who are caring for Menai, called the results "good news".

"There are no huge worries," said Anglesey sea zoo director Frankie Hobro.

"The biggest concern we had is that there was a serious condition.

"But we are happy now that we know what the problem is.

"This is the next stage in her journey. We can now research what treatment she needs to recover."

Image caption Menai receiving a CAT scan at the Royal Veterinary College

The Anglesey Sea Zoo team were up at 04:00 GMT to accompany Menai on the four-and-a-half hour, 267-mile (429 km) journey to the Hatfield college in a temperature-controlled van.

Menai is the first Olive Ridley turtle to be sighted in the UK since records began in 1748.

She was severely hypothermic when found stranded near the zoo in November last year, around 15,000 miles from her usual habitat, which is normally warm and tropical waters primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

But Menai recovered quickly and the zoo has been working with Olive Ridley turtle experts to plan her rehabilitation and possible release back into the wild.

Image caption Scans show a lesion and gas on Menai's lungs

Dr Marianna Biggi, lecturer in large animal radiology at the Royal Veterinary College, said: "It was quite nice to see so many people involved in her welfare.

"I think all in all we are quite happy with the result. Now we know what is wrong with her, which is the main thing.

"The next stage is to drain the gas."

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