Green Sea Turtles Case Study

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Section 1: Effects of “Swim with the Turtles” Tourist Attractions on Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) Health in Barbados, West Indies
Kimberly Stewart, Terry Norton, Harwich Mohammed, Darren Browne, Kathleen Clements, Kirsten Thomas, Taylor Yaw, and Julia Horrocks

Section 2: Green sea turtles tend to change their diets as they age. Green sea turtles start life as omnivores in pelagic water, but once their carapace length reaches 20 to25cm they move to coastal regions; their diet, then shifts to an herbivorous diet consisting of sea grass and algae. Shortly after it was discovered that turtles were eating the waste from fisherman in Barbados during the 1990s, the “swim with turtles” tourist attractions arose. The unintentional food provision
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Both groups had similar Epibiota consisting of algae and barnacles. The average white blood cell count for the SUPP group (10.2x103/µl) was slightly greater than the UNSUPP group (9.8x103/µl), but the UNSUPP group had a greater number of eosinophils. The total solids in the blood was greater in the SUPP population (4.8 g/dL) when compared to the UNSUPP group (2.9 g/dL). The packed cell volume in the SUPP group was 32.5% compared to 28% in the UNSUPP group. The analysis using the Ortho Vitros 250 showed differences in levels for everything besides carbon dioxide, amylase, low density lipoproteins, and creatinine kinase. All the differences except lipase were higher in the SUPP group, but lipase levels were higher in the UNSUPP group. The total protein, albumin: globulin ratio, albumin, alpha-2 globulins and beta globulins levels were significantly higher in the SUPP group. Five of the SUPP group had prealbumin bands as well as two from the UNSUPP group. In the vitamin panels the SUPP group was found to have higher levels of all-trans retinol, α-tocopherol, and vitamin D, and the UNSUPP group was found to possess greater amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. The copper, phosphorus, and selenium levels were elevated in the SUPP group (Cu 0.86 ppm, P 161.5 ppm, Se 0.2 ppm) compared to the UNSUPP turtles (Cu 0.54 ppm, P 108 ppm, Se 0.08 ppm); however, the magnesium levels were decreased …show more content…
The white blood cell count ranges were outside of previously established ranges, but the mean values were within previously established ranges so the differences were deemed clinically insignificant. The total protein values were also found to be within established ranges, but based on the higher values in the SUPP group it was within reason to assume this was due to supplementation. The elevated ALT is not considered indicative for liver disease in reptiles, since it is found in hepatocytes and muscle cells, but the CK levels were not elevated so there is a chance that these turtles are in the early stages of liver disease, a biopsy would be needed to assess this. The high caloric intake coupled with the lack of foraging puts these turtles at risk of obesity and hepatic lipidosis. The increased uric acid concentrations in the blood of the SUPP turtles is likely due to the increase of proteins which increases the chance of the turtles getting gout. Increased sodium levels in the SUPP turtles were likely caused by the processed foods. The blood urea nitrogen level increase in the SUPP turtles was likely due to the high protein diet. The cholesterol and triglyceride level elevation in the SUPP group is likely due to a higher chance of having a high calorie meal before capture. In humans elevated levels increase heart disease risk, but reptile

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