All Turtle Patients

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

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. She has some movement in the shoulder joint, which is promising, but her elbow joint is completely fused. We still do not know whether she will regain use of her flipper. We plan to Xray her soon to check up on how her bone condition is doing. Heidi is still on antibiotics and has now been switched to oral calcium supplement.