Turtle Patient 226: Bulbul, Adult Female Olive Ridley

Turtle patient Bulbul recovering in the tank at the Rescue Centre. Image.

Bulbul was found entangled in the same ghost net as Iru. They were found by the Odi Watersports team based at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, the resort where we are based, in Baa Atoll.

The Vitals

Admission Date: 16 December 2023
Patient Number: 226
Rescue Location: Baa Atoll
Reason: Found Entangled
Transport Method: Speedboat
Status: Current patient

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Female
Age: Adult
Length: 63.1 cm
Weight: 27.5 kg

The Adoptive Parents

Bulbul has been kindly adopted by Christian Heinen, by Stephan Setz for Maya, by Anna for Lilio and by Ewan Whiteside for Katie.

Bulbul’s Story

Bulbul, which is the name of a small songbird, is an adult female olive ridley. She was found entangled in a ghost net with Iru by the Odi Watersports team based at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu (where we are based) in Baa Atoll. They promptly called our veterinary team, who carefully disentangled both turtles and safely retrieved them off the water.

Bulbul has deep ligature injuries to both her front flippers and left hind flipper, and abrasions to her carapace and head. She is in overall good body condition, but her blood work shows signs of infection and her X-rays showed a fracture on both humeri.

The veterinary team has started her on medical therapy and is waiting for Bulbul to stabilise before performing surgery on her. So far she is settling in well and has already starting eating!

8 January 2024
Bulbul recovered well from the surgical procedure. Currently, Bulbul is exhibiting natural behaviours, diving to the bottom of her tank and resting comfortably, though she is not utilising her front flippers at the moment.

Our team’s focused therapeutic approach aims to salvage functionality in both of Bulbul’s front limbs. This involves a combination of platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) and photobiomodulation (PBM), complemented by regular wound debridement to stimulate healing and regeneration. Our commitment is to restore as much functional movement as possible for Bulbul’s continued well-being.

11 February 2024
Bulbul’s injuries are showing positive progress. She is responding remarkably well to a series of surgical procedures, cold laser sessions, and platelet-rich plasma injections. Regrettably, she still experiences reduced range of motion in both front flippers due to a bone infection in her shoulders. We have adapted her medical therapy to address this new challenge. After a couple of weeks of reduced appetite, Bulbul has resumed eating well and has shown increased interest in her surroundings.

12 March 2024
Bulbul’s wounds are nearly fully healed and she is showing improved range of motion in both her front flippers, using them more frequently in and out of water. She also resumed diving after a prolonged hiatus and is frequently seen resting at the bottom. We remain dedicated to enhancing her front flipper mobility through the use of cold laser therapy sessions.

7 April 2024
Bulbul spends most of her time exploring the different water levels in her tank and resting on the bottom. She is maintaining a great appetite which has increased her weight. Her ligature injuries are almost fully healed. The team is now focusing on starting a physiotherapy programme to promote her front flipper mobility and range of motion.

12 May 2024
Bulbul is now completely off any medical treatment and remains stable. She’s independently feeding off the bottom of the tank and continues to exhibit steady healing of her ligature injuries. Her left front flipper has fully healed, and the right one is responding positively to the cold laser therapy sessions. We’re persistently engaging her in physiotherapy sessions, aiming to further enhance the range of motion in both limbs.

9 June 2024
Bulbul continues to thrive off all medical therapy. She demonstrates all natural behaviours such as foraging and resting at the bottom of her tank as well as excellent buoyancy control. She is also enjoying interacting with her environmental enrichment device. Her right front flipper is almost completely healed and her left front flipper is responding well to the physiotherapy sessions.

Adopt Bulbul

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

  • A personalised digital adoption certificate with the history of your adopted turtle patient
  • A fact sheet about the species of sea turtle you have adopted
  • Updates on how your adopted turtle’s recovery is going (if you wish)
  • Your name featured on our website (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.