On several occasions, scuba divers have reported a particularly obese turtle seen in the waters off of Honokohau Harbor in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The cause of this issue is unknown but something similar has been found in necropsied turtles in the past. It is possible that this turtle is suffering from a condition called Steatitis (an inflammation of fatty tissue disease).
It is not possible to know for sure about this particular animal as it appears to be doing ok in the wild and would not be removed for treatment. We will monitor this animal as divers reportto us when they encounter this animal.
It should be noted that green turtles in the area of the harbor appear to feed on fish scraps discarded in the water by fishermen (green turtles are generally herbivores but will feed higher on the food chain when possible) . We have noted that turtles in this area are often very “plump” although they are not anywhere as “plump” as the turtle in question.