Turtle Patient 142: Cal, Juvenile Olive Ridley
Cal was found floating near Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and the Rescue Centre in Baa Atoll.
Intake Date: 4 March 2021
Patient Number: 142
Rescue Location: Baa Atoll
Reason: Found entangled
Transport Method: Speedboat
Status: Released 6 April 2021
Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Length: 49 cm
Weight: 12 kg
Cal has kindly been adopted by Olga and Jodie Stevelinck.
Cal arrived via speedboat quite suddenly one afternoon. A friend of one of Coco Palm’s resort staff found him entangled in some rope and cement bagging 3 minutes away from the resort! Dr Minnie ran to the jetty to find this poor juvenile olive ridley turtle with a severe right flipper constriction wound.
X-rays revealed his humerus bone was fractured in at least 2 places. It remains to be seen if it can be salvaged, but we are giving him some time, medications and good food to see what happens in the next week or so.
15 March 2021
Cal hasn’t had much change to his damaged right flipper, unfortunately. It is still swollen and he has actually started using it a little less. Therefore, we are most likely going to need to amputate it. Thankfully, he dives excellently and is eating really well, so he would be expected to recover exceptionally well.
22 March 2021
Cal has moved into half the big tank and was swimming really nicely towards the end of the week after not using his right flipper much at the beginning. We are going to give him more time, lots of good food, and are still hoping to salvage that right flipper, although it is still very swollen.
29 March 2021
Cal is using his damaged right flipper much better these days, so we are watching him closely and monitoring his wound to see if there is a chance we can salvage the flipper and reduce the very abnormal swelling he still has. He has a big appetite and is gaining back weight after arriving very underweight.
4 April 2021
Cal is not on any medication at the moment; he’s just on good food and in the big tank to get some good swimming practice! His right flipper isn’t much changed in appearance. The large swelling still remains, but he uses it quite well, so we continue to monitor him closely.
6 April 2021
Cal was using his damaged right flipper very well and swimming like a normal turtle. We therefore decided to release him back into the big blue, as he will be better off in his natural environment. As he grows older, the scarring that is causing the swollen flipper will become less pronounced. Cal was released today and swam off very very fast – he was definitely ready to go back home!