TSA Collaborates with TAMUK to Perform Critical Surgery on Rescued Endangered Sea Turtles

March 30, 2022

The Texas State Aquarium has partnered with the Veterinary Technology Program at Texas A&M University – Kingsville (TAMUK) to perform necessary surgery on several endangered green sea turtles that came in during February’s cold-stunning event. Five of the cold-stunned sea turtles had several tumors from a virus known as fibro papilloma, or FP, that interfered with their basic functions. The tumors must be removed before the turtles are cleared for release.

On Wednesday, March 9th, 2022, the TSA Animal Health Team transported the five green sea turtles to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Veterinary Technology teaching facility. The TAMUK faculty and students assisted the TSA’s Animal Health team with removing the most limiting tumors from the turtles’ bodies. The TSA’s Animal Health team utilized TAMUK’S surgical laser, which focuses light sources to treat or remove tissues, such as FP.

All mobility-limiting FP tumors were successfully removed from the five green sea turtles, and they are now healing at the TSA’s Wildlife Rescue Center.

“We have a great relationship with the Texas State Aquarium,” said Christine Hoskinson, MS, LVT, Assistant Director for the Veterinary Technology Program, “It is great for our students to meet other veterinary staff, as well as work with a new species that they do not get to usually work with.”

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