Today was a bit of a celebrity day for us at Perth Zoo - we treated Paris Hilton!

Paris, an adult female Oblong Turtle was bought to Perth Zoo after being found hooked to a jetty in Hilton. A veterinary examination discovered that Paris had a large and lethal fishing hook in her belly.

Normally we’re thrilled to say we’re hooked on wildlife, but not today! Getting fishing hooks and lines out of wildlife is an exceptionally tricky procedure, but leaving them inside the animals isn’t an option. Not only do the hooks cause internal injuries the fishing line can lacerate the stomach lining and wind its way lethally around internal organs. Without intervention, Paris would have died a slow and painful death.

To avoid doing an invasive and risky surgery we called on our good friends at Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital, who, over a two hour period skilfully used their endoscope to remove the lethal barb.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on Paris over the next few weeks, and like any real celebrity she’ll have a period of rehab. Once she’s eating, drinking, swimming and doing all the normal turtle things we’ll release her back to the wild. Success!

However many water loving creatures who encounter hooks, lines, plastic bags and other rubbish often do not survive. And it is not just wildlife who become victims.

Whilst Paris was being treated at Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital a dog with a fish hook embedded in its stomach was rushed into emergency.

Most people wouldn’t even realise the implications human rubbish has on animals. As we head into summer it’s a sobering reminder to take all rubbish with you, cause you never know, your tossed plastic bag or fishing gear could end a precious life.