All Turtle Patients

Turtle Patient 153: Bruce, Sub-Adult Olive Ridley

Turtle patient Bruce in the tank. Image.

Bruce was found entangled with left flipper hanging off by Raffles Maldives in Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

The Vitals

Intake Date: 4 July 2021
Patient Number: 153
Rescue Location: Gaafu Alifu Atoll
Reason: Found entangled
Transport Method: Seaplane
Status: Released 24 October 2021

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Unkown
Age: Sub-Adult
Length: 56.4 cm
Weight: 16 kg

Bruce has kindly been adopted by Lina Novén & Fredrik Svärd, by Jill Reed, for Thomas by Stephanie Suckow, Chase & Sheryl M, Veronica Jeffries & Rafael Saiz, Eduardo Solano, and by the Baumont Family.

Bruce’s Story

Bruce is a sub-adult Olive Ridley turtle that was found entangled in a ghost net that had completely cut through his left front flipper. He was found in Gaafu Alifu atoll, one of the southernmost atolls of the Maldives. This makes him the patient who has travelled the furthest out of any of our 153 patients so far–over 500km! Thankfully he is feisty and eating well, and we think we may be able to avoid surgery on his amputated stump.

11 July 2021
Bruce adapted to life here in the Rescue Centre within hours! He started eating immediately and now furiously chases around the food like he’s been doing this for years! He is bright and active and is having daily wound care on his stump – which is already looking better. We are thinking we might be able to avoid surgery but we will continue to monitor closely. He is on antibiotics for his open wound and is still buoyant for now, so we will see how he gets on in the coming months, but we are very happy with how things have started.

18 July 2021
Bruce is eating really well and his wound is looking pretty good. There is a lot of flesh that needs debriding (= removing dead tissue) regularly, but he certainly seems to be moving in the right direction. We are still confident we can avoid surgery.

25 July 2021
Bruce is doing really well; he had a minor surgical procedure to repair his flipper tip as, unfortunately, over the course of his rehab he has damaged it in the tanks. We also removed a few localised abscesses that had been caused by the net on his remaining right flipper. His stump on the left is looking good; the x-ray shows the bone looks fine and is now covered over by healing tissue. His buoyancy hasn’t changed since he arrived and he is still quite buoyant, but he tries to dive a little so we are sure it will improve with time. 

1 August 2021
Bruce is getting on really well, despite his significant buoyancy issues. His wound is healing up well and he does try to dive for his food a little more. He has been moved to half the big tank to encourage him to try diving even more. He may be fitted with a weight belt in the future to help.

8 August 2021
Bruce is getting brighter and brighter by the day and is trying to dive deeper and more consistently. We are very pleased with his progress. 

26 August 2021
Bruce is still attempting to dive whilst being fed and is otherwise looking well and has a good appetite. He is currently sharing a tank with Amber, and they are tolerating each other well.

7 September 2021
Bruce is still attempting to dive whilst being fed and is otherwise looking well and has a good appetite. He is currently sharing a tank with Amber, and they are tolerating each other well. We took Bruce swimming last week and he swam half the length of the island. Though he us not able to duck dive yet, we hope that in time, as he gains strength back, he may attempt it.

12 September 2021
Bruce is eating well but is still struggling with his buoyancy. He is trying to dive for food and on swims, but is unable to get under the water at the moment. He will be transferring to the Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only with Amber where he shall have more space. We hope this will encourage him to start diving.

20 September 2021
Bruce is loving his new home at the Rehabilitation Centre at One & Only. He is eating lots of fish and really trying to dive. This week he even flipped onto his back because he was trying so hard to get down under the water. This is a great sign for his recovery and, hopefully, over the next few months he will get better and better at staying below the water.

27 September 2021
Bruce is doing very well. He is very active in his new tank at One & Only and is trying hard to dive. He even managed to get his entire shell under the water while feeding!

4 October 2021
Bruce is doing great! He is really trying to dive, getting all the way under the water sometimes when he is going for food. This is great news for him and we hope to see him continue to improve over the coming months.

10 October 2021
Bruce is on top of his game, eating very well, diving more and more and managing to get his entire shell under the water more often. He still has a long way to go but is looking like he will get back to the ocean in the coming months.

18 October 2021
Bruce has done it! Only hours after Amber was released, Bruce decided it was his turn to go back into the open ocean so he began to dive! That same afternoon Bruce was found resting on the bottom of the tank. This is fantastic news! Once he has the all clear from the vets in the next week, he will join Amber back in the sea. Go Bruce!

24 October 2021
Release day! Bruce was a little stressed from the boat journey out to the nearby reef but he was flapping his flipper the moment he got out of the box. Once he entered the water he relaxed and gently swam around for a few minutes, breathing and making practice dives. When he was ready, he took his final breath before disappearing into the deep. We wish Bruce the best of luck with the rest of his life in the open ocean.