Volume 71 (2021) Issue: 2021 No#4

Pathoanatomical findings of a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) victim of collision with a motorboat

Author(s): Radan Elvis M. de Oliveira, Fernanda Loffler N. Attademo, Augusto Carlos da B. Freire, Juliana Maia de L. Pires, Daniel Solon D. Farias, Aline da C. Bomfim, Rysónely M. de Oliveira, Simone A. Gavilan, Flávio José de L. Silva, Moacir F. de Oliveira

Keywords:Cheloniidae, propeller, Testudines, trauma

In this paper we report the trauma suffered by a green turtle (Chelonia mydas), caused by a collision with a motorboat, and describe the case ante and post-mortem. An adult female green turtle was rescued alive on December 2, 2016 at Ponta Negra beach, municipality of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. The rescued animal was sent to the Marine Fauna Rehabilitation Center (PCCB-UERN), municipality of Areia Branca (RN), in Brazil. Physical examination revealed an excellent body score, noisy breathing, moderate dehydration, absence of hind limb and cloacal reflexes when stimulated by pressure, and two traumatic injuries characteristic of a collision with a motorboat. After three days of supportive treatment, the animal died and was immediately sent for necropsy. The animal had a complete fracture of the vertebral bodies (dorsal elements D9 and D10) and spinal cord section. The entire gastrointestinal tract had food content, in addition to sharp injuries in the colon caused by the bone fragments of the fractured carapace. The lungs were congested, hemorrhagic with frothy and bloody secretion, and interstitial bronchiole fibrosis. There was also present some fibrin and a large number of leukocyte cells, consisting mainly of macrophages. The liver was enlarged, with rounded edges and thickening of the capsule, multifocal areas of hepatocellular necrosis, and dissociation of the hepatocyte cords. The collision resulted in the exposure of the coelomic cavity and spinal cord, causing the animal intense pain, paralysis of the hind limbs and cloaca, septicemia, and consequently, death.


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ISSN: 0567-8315

eISSN: 1820-7448

Journal Impact Factor 2020: 0.800

5-Year Impact Factor: 0.857

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