Meet Elba, A Juvenile Olive Ridley Who Swallowed Ghost Net
Elba is a juvenile olive ridley turtle. She came to us via Six Senses, Laamu Atoll.
Intake Date: 6th May 2019
Length: 38.5 cm
Weight: 6.1 kg
Status: Released 30th August 2019
Elba has been adopted for Robert by Verena Wiesbauer, by Stephanie Jansen, for Lukas by Sandra and by Cordula.
Elba is a victim of ghost net entanglement. She had also swallowed a fishing net into her stomach and had a deep wound around her flipper. We had to surgically remove the net from her stomach after assessing her with X-ray and ultrasound exams. We then surgically repaired her flipper.
Elba is doing well. After having the ghost net removed from her stomach, she appears to be healthy and is eating well. The deep wound around her flipper was not initially healing, and we feared we would need to amputate it. However, we gave it every chance to heal before deciding on amputation and treated her with antibiotics.
After three weeks at the Rescue Centre, Elba finally started using her flipper. Antibiotic cover was stopped as her infection seemed to have cleared. She was having laser therapy over her flipper scar and physiotherapy daily to improve the range of motion of her flipper.
We were getting confident that Elba was getting closer to release as she was swimming very strongly. But then she had a setback: she suddenly stopped using her front left flipper. We took her to x-ray and discovered a new bone infection on the images. She was doing so well, therefore, this news was a shock to the team.
New antibiotic cover was started and hopefully we can stop the spread of this bone infection. She is also on pain relief. Her appetite is still great and now she is convalescing in one of the small tanks.
20 July 2019
Elba started using her left front flipper on and off this again. She is certainly more comfortable now that she is on medication. She still is eating well and is sharing her tank with Eve. There is a barrier separating them as they will fight if they are in together. She often looks at Eve through the barrier.
27 July 2019
This week, Elba has been swimming like a superstar. She is due for an x-ray next week so our fingers are crossed and we are hoping for good news regarding the bone infection. She has taken up residence in her own small tank to give her more space to exercise.
3 August 2019
Elba had her x-ray this week and the bone infection has not spread. She will continue on her antibiotics at this stage. She continues to swim and eat well and enjoys her time in the big tank as it is filling.
10 August 2019
Elba has been moved to a medium tank now that we have made some space. She is enjoying the 2 metres in depth to practice her diving. She continues to swim strongly and is continuing her course of antibiotics.
17 August 2019
Elba continues to swim enthusiastically, and she is so fast! She zips after her food without a care in the world. She is getting closer to release, but we must be sure her bone infection is cleared before we send her back to the big blue.
26 August 2019
Elba has been given the all clear this week! Her x-rays were great and she is scheduled to be released this week. She has had an increase in food and is spending time in the big tank in preparation for her release.
30 August 2019
Elba was successfully released back to her ocean home! She was a little slow diving down, circling the boat, but eventually she took a few breaths and was off.