Turtle Patient 188: Finihaka, Juvenile Hawksbill

Hawksbill turtle patient Finihaka in the tank. Image.

Finihaka is a juvenile hawksbill who was found floating in Baa Atoll by Rosie, the Resident Marine Biologist at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu where the Rescue Centre is based.

The Vitals

Intake Date: 25 May 2022
Patient Number: 188
Rescue Location: Baa Atoll
Reason: Found floating
Transport Method: Found near the Rescue Centre
Status: Released 11 July 2022

Species: Hawksbill
Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata
Sex: Unknown
Age: Juvenile
Length: 32 cm
Weight: 2.65 kg

The Adoptive Parents

Finihaka has kindly been adopted by Sabrina, Annette Gumm, for Merle by Katharina Kölzow, by Martin Wimmer, and by Nathalie Popovic.

Finihaka’s Story

Finihaka was found floating and struggling to swim. She had two huge shells attached to her body – one on the left neck and the other on near the edge of the left side of her carapace (the size of a human palm). She was flat, dull, and weak when she arrived at the Rescue Centre.

In addition, one scute on her carapace that was almost ripped off, cracked and missing edges at the margins too. After a few days of supportive care, she is now eating and diving. We will continue to monitor her progress over the next few days.

5 June 2022
Despite being in a poor body condition, Finihaka is now energetic and bright, swimming gracefully in her tank, receiving lots of love and curiosity from the visitors at the Rescue Centre. The epibiota (parasitic organisms), except the deeply embedding ones, on her skin, face, carapace and plastron have almost cleared now. The scute on her carapace that was almost ripped off remained intact on the carapace. We will focus on getting her to put on more weight so that she can be fit enough to be released and survive on her own in the wild.

12 June 2022
Finihaka is very friendly around visitors and never fails to greet anyone tank side–just like Heidi! He is eating well, defecates regularly, and is currently having the maximum daily feed intake for his body weight.

19 June 2022
Finihaka is almost too “people-friendly” sometimes, which is concerning given that he is going back to the wild after his stay with us. We are intending to isolate him in one of the medium tanks at a corner and to limit human contact as much as possible.

26 June 2022
Finihaka remains the brightest and most active patient at the Rescue Center. His weight has increased from 2.65 kg on May 25, 2022 when he first arrived to 2.9k g on June 26, 2022. We will be repeating diagnostics for him soon before arranging for a boat release.

3 July 2022
Repeat diagnostics will be scheduled for Finihaka before her release next week.

11 July 2022
Finihaka was released today. We took him back to where he was rescued by boat. He flipped a little at the start but managed to right himself immediately, and swam deep into the ocean! Good luck Finihaka!