The turtle that was bit by a shark at Kanaha Beach Park in October had to be euthanized because it suffered major injuries to its right flipper, lost a lot of blood and was already in poor health, suffering from multiple tumors, a state official said Wednesday.
A 10- to 12-foot shark attacked the sea turtle Oct. 22. The turtle's flipper "was quite mauled," said state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward.
She said the decision was made to remove the injured turtle from the ocean because its presence could draw the shark closer to shore and endanger people.
This turtle had to be euthanized in October after it was bitten by a shark at Kanaha Beach Park. A state official said the turtle suffered major injuries to its right flipper, lost a lot of blood and was already in poor health because it suffered from multiple tumors.
State Department of Land and Natural Resources photo
State aquatic biologist Skippy Hau retrieved the "sub adult" turtle that weighed just over 100 pounds with the help of Maui volunteers, Ward said. University of Hawaii Maui College Turtle Strandings Coordinator Donna Brown helped Hau care for the turtle until it could be shipped by Aloha Air Cargo to Oahu.
Cost of the shipping was around $200, which was based on weight, and paid for my the National Marine Fisheries Service, Ward added.
"It's considered well worth the cost for fast service an airplane provides to get a suffering animal to care," Ward said.
The turtle was taken to a NMFS veterinarian who thoroughly evaluated it, Ward said.
The turtle had multiple tumors, including those that blocked its right eye. The turtle had minimal vision in its left eye.
It was judged not to be a good candidate to survive a flipper removal, Ward said.