Turtle Patient 140: Amber, Juvenile Olive Ridley
Amber was found floating in South Ari Atoll, already missing her left forelimb.
Intake Date: 2 March 2021
Patient Number: 140
Rescue Location: South Ari Atoll
Reason: Found floating, missing flipper
Transport Method: Seaplane
Status: Current patient
Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Length: 45 cm
Weight: 8.55 kg
Amber has kindly been adopted by Eva Kormošová, for Angela by Megan, by Eva Rose Segura, for Henry by Paul, for Illy by Paul, for Morgane by Timothee Pelerin, by Ashley, India Amy Thomton, Dr. Subrahmanyam M. Pasumarty, for Mix Sahaphap by Nabihah, by Delshad Irani, Gabs & Pete, and by Daniela Quick.
Amber was named by our volunteer, Jade, who picked the name because Amber is a healing stone and this little turtle needs some good vibes! On her x-rays, she has a small amount of trapped air, but otherwise seems quite well in herself, if quite skinny and undernourished. We will feed her up and monitor for any change in buoyancy. Thankfully she is eating very well.
15 March 2021
Amber started off the week well, then had a bit of a downturn in the middle where she wouldn’t eat. It seems she was stressed out by sharing a tank, so we moved her on her own. She now seems happier and is eating more consistently. We continue to monitor her diving progress.
22 March 2021
Little Amber is looking really well now; she is eating more consistently and seems much more active in her tank. Her buoyancy hasn’t changed substantially yet, but we are keeping an eye and are hoping to see some improvement soon!
29 March 2021
Amber is a bright little turtle now, quite active and attempting to dive. She is still struggling with her buoyancy, but we are hopeful it will improve within a few months. We are still early days.
4 April 2021
Unfortunately, Amber has had a bad week. She is very bright and active in herself but her buoyancy has actually worsened and she now sits higher in the water and lopsided. We have elected to anaesthetise her next week and remove some air from her while she is asleep, to see if we can help control the worsening of her condition.
11 April 2021
Amber is well in herself, very bright and eating well. Her buoyancy is still a concern at the moment, but we have held off any interventions for now to reduce her stress. We will continue to re-assess.
18 April 2021
Amber was very quiet at the start of the week and after a few follow up tests and x-rays, it was revealed that she was still showing signs of a bit of lung infection. She is therefore back on her antibiotics and it has made a huge difference. She is eating well, but unfortunately her buoyancy issues are still a problem. She is getting a little lower in the water on her left hand side but the progress is gradual.
25 April 2021
Amber’s buoyancy is improving and she is becoming more level in the water. She is still too buoyant, but the signs are good so we are monitoring her. She remains on antibiotics for pneumonia but is thankfully eating well and getting more active.
2 May 2021
Amber is still very buoyant but she has noticeably levelled out this week, meaning her buoyancy is more evenly distributed and hopefully improving. She remains on medication of her lung infection and is responding really well – her appetite is really good now and she is brighter in herself and gaining weight.
9 May 2021
Amber had x-rays and blood samples this week to asses her progress as she has been a little quiet. Her x-rays still show areas of abnormality in her lungs, but overall things are looking good. She is alos a little less anaemic, which is great. Her appetite picked up towards the end of the week and she is now quite keen again, so we will continue to monitor her closely.
16 May 2021
Amber has definitely improved in terms of her buoyancy and she’s had a few very active days! She is still recovering from pneumonia but we are happy with her progress.
23 May 2021
Amber has been brighter this week and has even made some attempts to dive for her food! Her buoyancy issues are still ongoing but she is now much more symmetrical in the water, so things are improving.
30 May 2021
Amber is showing good signs of improvement, she is lower in the water now, which indicates her buoyancy issues are improving. She has made a few small attempts to dive, but, in general, is still not super high energy due to her pneumonia. Things are going in the right direction however.
6 June 2021
Amber continues to get lower and lower in the water, which is great, and will even make small attempts to dive for her food and can get herself under – which is good progress. She will have more x-rays soon to see how her lungs are doing.
13 June 2021
Amber has been doing really well this week and is showing more enthusiasm for diving. She remains on medication for pneumonia and when she has follow-up xrays and bloods soon, we will be able to decide if she still needs to continue. We are really happy with her progress overall.
20 June 2021
Amber is getting brighter every week and is now more consistently trying to dive for her food, although she still gives up if it goes a bit too far at the moment. We are hopeful she will continue to improve and her motivation to dive will get better and better! She had x-rays this week which show a great improvement in the trapped air – there is much less than before, and also her pneumonia is much better. However, there are still some abnormal areas present so she will continue medications for now.
27 June 2021
Our patient of the week award definitely goes to Amber – she has been excelling! She suddenly decided it was time to start diving at the beginning of the week and she’s been keeping up the excellent work ever since. She has even managed to reach the bottom of the tank, although she’s a way off being able to rest there. She is still on treatment for pneumonia but she is doing wonderfully.
4 July 2021
Amber is truly excelling at diving and now consistently spends more time diving than resting on the surface. She can even rest on the bottom without propping herself under the dividing barrier as well, so we are so happy with her progress! She has also started to use her back flipper more – which is great news.
11 July 2021
Amber is consistently diving and resting on the bottom of the tank now. She had some follow up x-rays, which on the whole were good, but still showing one or two problem areas. She will be finishing her antibiotics next week and we will then continue to monitor her to ensure everything has cleared up. She is beginning to use her back left flipper more too, so hopefully she will regain full range of motion in the coming weeks. Overall we are very happy with her progress.
18 July 2021
Amber has now been off her medication for a week and is doing great. She had a minor procedure to remove a bit of infected material that was noticed over her shell, but it should heal up absolutely fine. She is diving really well and is using her back left flipper a lot more now. Her flipper still isn’t quite 100%, but having examined it and re-x-rayed the area, we can see no reason why she shouldn’t regain full function. It seems she’s just a bit out of practice! If she remains stable and well off her antibiotics, then we will likely be able to send her to our rehab facility at One & Only Reethi Rah to finish off her rehabilitation and then release her! We’ll see how she gets on.
25 July 2021
Amber has been off her antibiotics for nearly two weeks now, which is amazing! She is doing very well, swimming and diving with real ease these days. She still doesn’t use her back left flipper all that much, but it is much better than it was. We suspect, given there are no major issues we can detect, that she will use it more when the conditions are choppier, because right now, in a perfectly still tank, she doesn’t have much need for it when she’s so strong on the front! We have noted she has a bit of swelling along her carapace bridge overlying her stump, so we need to ensure that is nothing too concerning before she goes back home. We will be repeating x-rays next week.
1 August 2021
Amber had surgery this week to remove a walled off abscess that was slowly getting bigger near her left front flipper stump. This likely developed when the ghost gear constricted it and some damaged tissue was left behind. She woke up well from surgery but, unfortunately, she is significantly buoyant, whereas before she was able to dive well. Her surgical site is also quite swollen and there is concern that infection may still be present. It’s possible she will need further surgery down the line, but we will monitor her for now. Her buoyancy should return in due time.
8 August 2021
Unfortunately, Amber’s surgical wound broke down and has left a bit of a large hole to contend with. Luckily, she is eating and swimming well and it doesn’t seem to be setting her back. We will manage it as an open wound and it will eventually close over.
26 August 2021
Amber’s wound is healing nicely – it is getting regular wound cleans and topical medications and will be x-rayed today to make sure that there is no sign of continued infection. She is also diving nicely and following her full course of antibiotics will be able to be released soon! She has developed a slight eye infection that we are monitoring and giving antibiotic eye drops too.
7 September 2021
Amber’s osteolytic (bone destruction) area seems to have settled with her course of antibiotics. The wound is still quite deep but is healing nicely. She is still diving like a pro and, following her full course of antibiotics, will be able to be released! Her eye infection also has cleared up. It’s likely that she will be transferred to our Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only Reethi Rah nest week to spend the remainder of her rehabilitation there.
12 September 2021
Amber is doing very well! She is diving all the time and staying at the bottom of her tank. Her wound is healing up nicely. She is going to the the Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only Reethi Rah this week, from where, we hope, in a few weeks, she will be ready to go back into the ocean.
20 September 2021
Amber is doing very well in her new tank at the Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only. She is diving often and resting on the bottom of the tank. Unfortunately, her eye infection has returned so she will be starting antibiotic eye drops this week. This should all be cleared up at the same time her wound has healed. We still intend to release her in a few weeks back into the wild.