Meet Hope, Our First Baby Turtle Entanglement Victim
Hope is a baby Olive Ridley turtle. One of our volunteers found her just off the beach of our island Coco Dhuni Kolhu in December 2017. Hope was entangled in plastic attached to sargassum seaweed.
Intake Date: December 20th 2017
Length: 13 cm
Weight: 310 gr
Released: 25th January 2018
Hope is a rare find as Olive ridley turtles generally do not nest in the Maldives. Young turtles spend the first years of their life using seaweed as a kind of raft as they float around the open ocean. Unfortunately, this particular seaweed raft contained dangerous plastic that entangled Hope.
Hope was probably on her way over the ocean from a nesting beach in Sri Lanka or India when she became entangled in plastic. We estimate that Hope is 1-2 months old. She is the first baby Olive ridley turtle to be found at the rescue centre, and thus the youngest turtle we have found entangled. Hope is also upsetting proof that sea turtles of all ages are victims of ocean debris.
On the positive side she recovered from her injuries fast. She suffered from a swollen flipper but responded well to medication. Hope has a huge appetite for such a little turtle and grew 0.5 cm and put on 30 grams during her one month stay at the rescue centre!
She was a little nervous about being back in the ocean so she didn’t swim off very quickly when we released her. She looked particularly small and vulnerable in such a big ocean, but she has already made it past the hardest stage of being a hatchling, so we just hope she continues to thrive and grow into a big turtle!