All Turtle Patients

Turtle Patient 144: Sunan, Adult Male Olive Ridley

Turtle patient Sunan, ghost net victim, in the rescue centre tank. Image.

Sunan was found entangled in a large ghost net along with Maadhu in North Malé Atoll by staff from Coco Bodu Hithi Resort.

Intake Date: 12 March 2021
Patient Number: 144
Rescue Location: North Malé Atoll
Reason: Found entangled, missing flipper
Transport Method: Seaplane
Status: Current patient

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Male
Age: Adult
Length: 61 cm
Weight: 22.8 kg

Sunan has been very kindly adopted by Wilhelmine and Frank Kmiotek.

Sunan and Maadhu were severely entangled in the ghost net and would never have been able to free themselves. Sunan (named for one of his rescuers) has only a bone sticking out where his left flipper used to be, and very painful sloughing tissue around his back legs. After they were both freed, Sunan and Maadhu were sent to ORP’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only Reethi Rah by boat. They spent the night there before being taken by seaplane to the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre the next day. Sunan and Maadhu had to travel on separate sea planes as they were too heavy to go on the same flight! Thank you TMA for flying them to us and the Coco Bodu Hithi team for rescuing them.

We expect Sunan to make a full recovery after surgery.

22 March 2021
Sunan had his surgery on Tuesday to both amputate his exposed left humeral bone and also to clean up his very severe skin wounds on his plastron-skin margin. He has been a little quiet, but he is likely quite uncomfortable. We are making sure he has pain relief and are encouraging him to eat. 

29 March 2021
Sunan is doing well, but is a little quieter and slower than his tank mate Maadhu. As such, he hasn’t been eating as much as she should, because Maadhu steals his food! We have therefore separated them so that they can both get what they need. Sunan’s amputation is healing ok, but the tension on the wound has resulted in some areas opening up. We are managing those as open wounds. We also discovered that some of his scutes around the back end were infected and damaged. As a result, we have removed them and are cleaning them carefully every 2 days. Thankfully, they had already started to heal by the time the abnormal tissue became obvious so everything looks to be improving.

4 April 2021
Sunan is doing much better this week, after he was moved to a tank on his own. Although he and Maadhu never fought or showed aggression towards one another while they were sharing, it turns out Sunan is just a solo kind of guy and has a much better appetite when Maadhu isn’t around to steal it from under his nose! Sunan’s wounds are all healing well but still require regular wound care every 2-3 days. Thankfully we’re confident they will all heal well in the coming months.