York & North Yorkshire

Brain-damaged turtle travels to London for CT scan

Sea turtle getting a CT scan Image copyright Scarborough Sea Life
Image caption The loggerhead turtle received a CT scan at the Royal Veterinary College in London

A brain-damaged sea turtle has been transported from North Yorkshire to London to receive its first CT scan.

Loggerhead turtle Antiopi suffered a head injury off the coast of Greece before it was moved from a rescue centre to Scarborough 20 years ago.

It was taken from the town's aquarium to the Royal Veterinary College to see the full extent of its injury.

Tests found major damage to the hind part of its brain and a lack of sensation on the left side of its body.

Scarborough Sea Life centre said the scan also revealed it was carrying eggs, although Antiopi does not have a mate and they will not be fertile.

Image copyright Scarborough Sea Life
Image caption Antiopi has been at Scarborough Sea Life centre for 20 years

Lyndsey Crawford, displays supervisor at the aquarium, said it was likely the injury either came from "a collision with a boat or a deliberate blow from an unsympathetic fisherman".

She said: "We drove her down and back again in a specially built transport box and she seemed pretty relaxed the whole time.

"She's back in the ocean tank swimming around as if nothing has happened."

Aquarium chain Sea Life said it was collaborating with the college on a project to see if CT scan can help evaluate the extent of brain or spinal injuries in sea turtles.

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