Juanita is a subadult Olive ridley sea turtle, who was found in in South Male atoll in July 2017. Since then she has been at Marine Savers Landaa Giravaaru. She is chronically buoyant and was transferred to us in the hope that she will overcome her buoyancy in our large tank.
Intake Date: 9th September 2018
Length: 49 cm
Weight: 12.55 kg
Status: Current patient
Juanita has been adopted by Anna Hunting-Young, Yvonne Perret, Rieke and Leonard Küper
Juanita has so much air inside her that one side of her shell is completely out of the water. The trapped air has also caused her to grow into a more rounded shape compared to other turtles. She recently had an X-ray which showed that her shell is filled with air from a likely lung tear. This was probably caused by the trauma of being entangled in ghost gear. As a consequence, every time she breathes, air escapes her lungs and inflates her shell, from where it cannot escape.
It also appears Juanita has a lung bulla, which is a pocket of air in the lung, that also contributes to her buoyancy. This gives her a bad prognosis for recovering from buoyancy syndrome. She will have repeat X-rays, using more angles, to confirm this.
Turtle with buoyancy syndrome cannot be released. To survive in the wild, turtle need to be able to dive – something they are unable to do when they suffer from buoyancy. Juanita will be a long term patient at the ORP Rescue Centre until we need the space, when she will be moved again to another rescue centre.
Juanita is very active in our tanks. Her favourite time of day is feeding time; she’s a very hungry turtle she but is on a diet at the moment due to her larger than normal size!