Wildlife

Turtle Disease Mystery

Turtles in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have suffered from a variety of illnesses that some experts believe may be caused by cobalt pollution.

The first outbreak began in 2010 when two-thirds of the green turtles examined in Brisk Bay developed a herpes virus infection that caused tumours to grow on their eyes, shells, tails, flippers and organs. Two years later, 100 green turtles washed up onshore at nearby Upstart Bay, suffering seizures and uncontrolled head movements that led to a mass death.

The latest ailments have recently left some of Upstart Bay’s turtles with mysterious eye infections.

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