Turtle Patient 221: Aisha, Sub-Adult Olive Ridley

Turtle patient Aisha at the bottom of the tank at the Rescue Centre. Image.

Aisha, a sub-adult olive ridley, was found floating and unable to dive by the water villas in Dhaalu Atoll.

The Vitals

Admission Date: 4 November 2023
Patient Number: 221
Rescue Location: Dhaalu Atoll
Reason: Found floating
Transport Method: Speedboat & seaplanes
Status: Current patient

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Unknown
Age: Sub-Adult
Length: 60.5 cm
Weight: 19.5 kg

The Adoptive Parents

Aisha has been adopted by Gary, by Natalie, by Oliver Schulthess, by Christian Beiner, by Leah Parry for Lydia, by Apinya Radike, by Thomas for Vanessa and by Paula & Kris.

Aisha’s Story

Aisha is a sub-adult olive ridley that was found floating and unable to dive by the water villas of Niyama Resort in Dhaalu Atoll. Resort staff rescued her and promptly called us for advice. Due to bad weather, Aisha had to split her journey in two phases. She first had to spend a night at Niyama Resort. The next day she travelled to our North Malé Atoll Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only Reethi Rah, where sea turtle biologist, Philippa, took care of her over night. She finally arrived at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre two days later, on Saturday, the 4th November.

Aisha has partially lost her back left flipper (an older injury that has already healed) and recently suffered a severe trauma to the left front flipper and lateral side of her carapace. Her humerus bone is completely exposed and she is undergoing critical care for her wounds.

Thankfully, Aisha is settling in her new enclosure and eating well. While she is being stabilised, she has been started on therapy to treat her infection and pain relief. 

14 November 2023
Unfortunately, Aisha has started to pass some plastic material and synthetic rope in her faeces which we are keeping a close watch on.

12 December 2023
Aisha has shown great improvements these past weeks. She hasn’t passed any more plastic material in her faeces. We performed surgery to debride her injuries and remove the remaining humerus bone from her left side. Since then she is more comfortable. Her amputation site and carapace injuries have been healing nicely.

She continues to receive Photobiomodulation Therapy (cold laser) for wound healing optimisation and pain relief. We have put her on tailored dive training where we combine Targeted External Weight Therapy (TEWT) with buoy feeding sessions. Aisha is now gaining weight, strength and even eating better from the buoys. Despite missing both flippers on the left side, Aisha has started to dive! She is able to reach the bottom of her tank and stay submerged for longer periods. We have even seen her resting on the bottom. We couldn’t be more thrilled for her and how far she has come in such a short time.

8 January 2024
Aisha continues to exhibit remarkable strides in her recovery. All her wounds are displaying an impressive rate of healing. And, sespite the absence of both flippers on the left side, Aish has been diving well and resting on the bottom!

Our comprehensive approach to Aisha’s wound healing remains multifaceted, involving consistent wound cleaning, the application of manuka honey, and photobiomodulation therapy (cold laser treatment). As she continues to improve her buoyancy, we’ve begun to gradually reduce her External Targeted Weight Therapy.

Aisha’s progress emphasises the success of our combined therapeutic strategies and her own resilience in adapting to the challenges she faces.

11 February 2024
Aisha has successfully completed her External Targeted Weight Therapy and we are pleased to report that she can now fully control her buoyancy without any issues. Additionally, her wounds are healing at an impressive rate, improving noticeably with each passing week. We remain committed to her wound care plan, which includes meticulous cleaning of the area, application of manuka honey, and regular cold laser sessions.

12 March 2024
Aisha’s amputation site is showing considerable improvement and is almost fully healed now. We continue to provide her with regular wound care and cold laser therapy, but are now able to space treatments more. She has a voracious appetite and is gaining steady healthy weight.

7 April 2024
Aisha is recovering steadily with her amputation site almost fully healed and all her diagnostics supporting her strong health. She has flawless buoyancy control which means that the next stage of her rehabilitation process will include tailored dive training to prepare her for life at sea; we will need to assess how she can cope with obstacles and currents while having only two flippers to direct herself.

12 May 2024
Aisha’s amputation site has been steadily healing through regular wound cleaning and cold laser therapy sessions. Regrettably, she developed a bone infection in one of her digits from the remaining front flipper, which we are closely monitoring. Despite this, she has exhibited no signs of discomfort.

9 June 2024
Aisha remains stable – her bone infection is not progressing and she is using her flipper normally. We continue to treat her with laser therapy and regular wound debridement and are closely monitoring her amputation site as it heals. Aisha has been showing a keen preference for prawns this month.

Adopt Aisha

When you symbolically adopt one of our turtle patients you will receive:

  • A personalised adoption certificate with the history of your adopted turtle patient
  • A fact sheet about the species of sea turtle
  • Updates on how your adopted turtle’s recovery is going (if you wish)
  • Notification in the case of a release

We ask for a minimum one time gift donation of £50 to adopt a turtle patient. £50 will contribute to the cost of medical therapy for one patient for two weeks. You can also choose to make a monthly donation of your choice.

Once we receive confirmation of the donation and your adoption form (please make sure the names on the donation and adoption forms match), we will issue the adoption certificate with details about the turtle patient to you or the gift recipient. Please allow 7 days for the issuing of the certificate.

By adopting one of our turtle patients, you will contribute towards the cost of our patients’ veterinary care, medications, and transport. You will also help fund our core charitable objectives to protect sea turtles and their habitats through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education and outreach.