Honey May Heal Wounded Sea Turtles

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The Georgia Sea Turtle Center has a sweet solution for treating sea turtles wounded by human activities, such as boating and fishing. Rescue staff are using a "medical honey" called MediHoney to help heal the gashes on these turtle victims.

(Loggerhead sea turtle caught in a fishing net; Credit: NOAA)

Robin O'Malley, a public relations rep for MediHoney, says a sea turtle named Varun "was brought back to life by honey." A boat strike hurt Varun to such a degree that it exposed his intestines and one of his lungs. He's on the road to recovery now, however.

Another turtle named Emma, whose shell was nearly ripped in two by a boat propeller, also benefited from the treatment, according to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. You can read Emma's story, which includes many photos, here.

It's important to note that the honey is used externally and is not fed to the turtles.

The manufacturers of MediHoney claim that it:

  • Promotes a moist environment conducive to healing
  • Is highly absorbent
  • Cleanses and debrides
  • Helps to lower the wound pH, for an optimal wound healing environment
  • Is non-toxic, natural and safe
  • Is easy to use and easy to apply

(A healthy loggerhead sea turtle; Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

O'Malley adds that the active ingredient is (what do you know) honey. But this, she explains, is a "medical grade active Leptospermum honey, indigenous to New Zealand, that can succeed in alleviating wounds in humans when other treatments have failed."