Death of a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) from ingestion of an eel (Myrichthys ocellatus)
REM Oliveira , JML Pires, JS Batista, FLN Attademo, DSD Farias, ACB Freire, AC Bomfim, LRP Lima, RM Oliveira, SA Gavilan, FJL Silva, MF Oliveira
Gastrointestinal perforation in sea turtles may be associated with the ingestion of solid waste; however, other factors, including the ingestion of marine organisms, may cause intestinal perforation. Herein, we report the first case of the death of a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) from ingestion of a live goldspotted eel (Myrichthys ocellatus) and have described the necropsy findings. The adult female loggerhead sea turtle was registered alive by a team of the Cetáceos da Costa Branca Project of Rio Grande do Norte State University (PCCB-UERN). The animal died in captivity after 8 days of an attempted rehabilitation process, and the carcass was immediately sent for necropsy. After incision, an encapsulated structure in the cranial region of the left lung was identified as a specimen of the ingested eel. Histopathological examination of the lung showed fibrin and numerous leukocytes, mainly macrophages, in the alveolus and bronchioles. Necropsy revealed that ingestion of a live goldspotted eel (M. ocellatus) caused a gastric perforation in the turtle; this resulted in displacement of the eel to the celomatic cavity with its cranial portion in the left lung, leading to sepsis and consequent death of the turtle.
Cheloniidae, gastric perforation, septicemia, Testudines