Turtle Patient 162: Biscuit, Juvenile Olive Ridley

Turtle patient Biscuit in the rescue centre tank. Image.

Biscuit was found washed up on the beach at Patina Fari Islands, North Malé Atoll, missing one front flipper and half of both back flippers.

The Vitals

Intake Date: 16 December 2021
Patient Number: 162
Rescue Location: North Malé Atoll
Reason: Found washed up on the beach
Transport Method: Seaplane
Status: Transferred to Atoll Marine Centre

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Unknown
Age: Juvenile
Length: 28.6 cm
Weight: 2.4 kg

The Adoptive Parents

Biscuit has kindly been adopted for Iva by Sara Rigotti, by Carina, for Annika by Angelika, by Ines, Kathleen Kelly, Kim, Joshua Fuentes & Alicia Johnson, and by Corina Oehler.

Biscuit’s Story

Biscuit is a very young Olive Ridley sea turtle found washed up on the shore at Patina Fari Islands Resort in North Malé. She very tragically has been entangled in a ghost net that has claimed her whole right front flipper and half of each of her back flippers. She is also suffering from buoyancy syndrome due to trapped air in her body cavity. At the moment she is quite weak.

It is unclear at this stage whether she will be able to swim sufficiently to be released – although thankfully the back stumps are quite broad – but we will ensure we give her the best possible chance by allowing her to recover her buoyancy before any decisions are made. She appears to have some foreign material within her intestines too, and we will need to monitor her closely to see if this passes.

19 December 2021
Biscuit started eating very shortly after arriving at the Rescue Centre and now has a very vigorous appetite! We will await the resolution of her buoyancy syndrome before making any decisions about her viability, however it seems unlikely she would be a release candidate.

26 December 2021
Biscuit had some great performances this week, really chasing her food and able to completely pull herself under and touch the bottom if she had a straight line. She still isn’t diving of her own volition, but her increasingly ravenous appetite should make it very easy to encourage her to try!

2 January 2022
Biscuit is putting in great effort to dive this week – not just for food, but in general in the tank when no-one is around. She has an excellent appetite and has now finished her antibiotics.

9 January 2022
Biscuit can now dive to the bottom of the tank for her food – providing she gets a good run up! We are really impressed at her resilience and effort, despite only having one good working flipper.

16 January 2022
Biscuit hasn’t got quite as much space to practice her diving this week but she is getting much better at it, although it is still very challenging for her.

23 January 2022
Biscuit is still a little bit restricted for space given the patient situation, but she is still managing to put in some good dives and has an excellent appetite.

30 January 2022
Biscuit is doing really well: She is active and bright and does her best to dive for food at the bottom of the small tank, although it is awkward for her. We hope to take her to swim in the open ocean this week, to give her a chance to stretch her flippers.

6 February 2022
Biscuit is nice and active and is doing her best to dive. We haven’t had a chance to take her swimming this week but hopefully we will get a chance next week.

13 February 2022
Biscuit has done amazingly well this week and has figured out how to rest on the bottom! This is wonderful as it means she can exhibit some of her natural behaviours, and it is not an easy thing to do when you’re missing 3 flippers. We are so impressed at her resolve.

14 February 2022
Biscuit was transferred to Atoll Marine Centre today to make room for a critical patient in need of immediate veterinary care.