Turtle Patient 187: Basil, Sub-Adult Olive Ridley

Basil with his flipper raised in the rescue centre tank. Image.

Basil is a sub-adult olive ridley that was found in a ghost net with both front flippers entangled at Coco Bodu Hithi Resortin in North Malé Atoll on May 15, 2022.

The Vitals

Intake Date: 15 May 2022
Patient Number: 187
Rescue Location: North Malé Atoll
Reason: Found entangled
Transport Method: Speedboat & Seaplane
Status: Released 20 August 2022

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Unknown
Age: Sub-Adult
Length: 55.5 cm
Weight: 17 kg

The Adoptive Parents

Basil has kindly been adopted for Jenny by Ami, by Michele Mulkey, for Basil by Siraj, by Namita Bhaladhare, for Stephanie & David by Kelly Rutnam, and for Nicola by Cath Willers.

Basil’s Story

Basil arrived at the Rescue Centre on the same day he was rescued. Based on a physical examination, his wounds appears to be superficial. There are no significant findings on the X-ray of either front flipper. We will take some blood tests and run a full diagnostic. 

22 May 2022
Basil was using both of his front flippers on his first day of arrival, however, he gradually stopped using his right front flipper likely due to discomfort from swelling. We have been working on wound drainage for him on a daily basis, which has resulted in reduced swelling over time. He appeared to be using his flipper much better after each drainage session. He was otherwise eating and diving well!

29 May 2022
Basil is showing marked improvement with the use of his right front flipper and the swelling appears to have come down. He is both eating and diving well!

5 June 2022
Basil’s improvement in the use of his right front flipper is inconsistent and he has good days and bad days. We perform regular wound drainage to reduce the swelling and discomfort, especially on the days when he appears to have reduced functionality. Despite this, he continues to eat and dive well.

12 June 2022
Basil can now swim as fast as Jazeera! We can clearly see improvement in the use of his right front flipper–especially during feeding time. The swelling on his flipper has come down flipper too. We will repeat diagnostics nearer to the end of his antibiotic course to guide the next plan for him.

19 June 2022
Basil has a skin infection at his wound site, however, his blood-work did not show any significant abnormalities. We are repeating his X-rays this week to reassess his flippers. 

26 June 2022
The parasitic burden on Basil’s wounds is gone. We have made several changes in his treatment plan after detecting changes on his right front flipper during X-rays this week to ensure his comfort level.

3 July 2022
Basil’s comfort level has markedly improved with pain relief on-board. He is using both front flippers well, showing proper diving behavior, and has a good appetite. His wounds appears to be closing with no signs of infection or swelling.

10 July 2022
Basil is using both front flippers well and there are no swelling or signs of infection at his wound sites. We are holding off his pain relief medications and will keep him under observation for any signs of discomfort in the following weeks. As Basil continues to recover with the current treatment protocol, repeat diagnostics will be performed soon to prepare for his release.

17 July 2022
Basil is using both his front flippers well. Due to a slow-healing superficial wound which recently appeared on his right front flipper, we have re-started pain relief medications. We suspect that this wound is self-inflicted, We will continue to keep him under close observation and also repeat his X-rays next week to further assess the affected flipper.

24 July 2022
Basil is using both front flippers well. His X-rays show improvement in the bone changes that were previously detected. The wound at his right front flipper seems to be reducing in size, however, the central region of the wound looks deep. We will continue his antibiotic course and pain relief while monitoring the wound healing progress.

31 July 2022
Basil’s wounds continue to heal well. We will repeat his diagnostics next week and if the findings come back normal, we will schedule his release soon!

7 August 2022
We plan to stop Basil’s antibiotic course soon and continue to monitor his wounds when he’s off medications. His pre-release diagnostics will be conducted within the next 2 weeks. He uses all his flippers well and swims speedily for food.

14 August 2022
Basil continues to do well after his course of medication ended and the wound at his right flipper has reduced further in size. His pre-release diagnostics will be performed this week and we will proceed to plan for his release based on the findings of the tests. He uses his flippers extremely well and dives fast for his food.

20 August 2022
Basil was cleared for release last week and today he went back home! He dived straight into the deep without looking back – obviously ready to go. We are delighted to return another rehabilitated olive ridley turtle to the big blue.