Meet Heidi, Who Has An Unusually Long Tail For A Female!
Heidi is an adult olive ridley turtle who was found entangled in a big ghost net at Dropped Pin near the Laccadive Sea.
Intake Date: 21st April 2018
Length: 65 cm
Weight: 27 kg
Status: Current Patient
Heidi has been adopted by Eva-Maria Heinemann, by Dorota Summers and by Anita Lehmeier.
Heidi was taken overnight to Como Cocoa Island in South Male atoll before she was transferred to the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre. She was found with deep older wounds (cuts from ghost gear) to both front flippers; her humeral bones were visible and the muscles severed. Despite this, she was able to move her front flippers.
After stitching her up, we bandaged Heidi’s flippers to prevent movement and allow her flipper to heal. A couple of days after her initial treatment, she was quite active again and was diving to the bottom of her tank. It was therefore very difficult to keep her bandages in place.
Unfortunately, her injuries seems to have compromised the blood supply to her front left flipper and it started peeling off. Eventually we had to amputate.
Heidi’s remaining flipper had also suffered extensive muscle, nerve and blood vessel damage, so it is not functional. However, she is very good at swimming with her back flippers only. She can even dive! She just had her first swimming lesson in the ocean and did really well, swimming fast and diving.
Heidi continues to eat well and is active in our tanks, but she is still not using her front flipper. With the arrival of our new X-ray machine we are now able to gain more information from our turtles. We initially thought her problem was in her elbow, but it turns out it is in her shoulder joint. She also has calcium deposits in the muscle. Both these things give her a bad prognosis for regaining use of her front flipper and we will likely have to re-home her. Heidi appears healthy other than her problem front flipper.
Heidi is becoming quite the acrobat! Despite only having her back flippers, she is quite capable and agile at feeding time and often puts on a display of turning upside down and spinning around to catch pieces of fish.