All Turtle Patients

Meet Juanita

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: Transferred to Atoll Marine Centre 4th March 2019 for further rehabilitation

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.

Juanita was very active in our tanks. Her favourite time of day is feeding time; she’s a very hungry turtle sohad to put her on a diet due to her larger than normal size!

Turtles 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 was transferred to Atoll Marine Centre where she will probably be a long term resident. There is nothing else medically wrong with her, and we needed the space for new and critical patients.