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Turtle Patient 146: Honu, Adult Female Olive Ridley

Olive ridley ghost gear victim at ORP Turtle Rescue Centre. Image.

Honu was rescued from a ghost net by staff from Kuredu Island Resort in Lhaviyani Atoll.

Intake Date: 22 March 2021
Patient Number: 146
Rescue Location: Lhaviyani Atoll
Reason: Found entangled in a ghost net
Transport Method: Seaplane
Status: Released 20 April 2021

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Female
Age: Adult
Length: 61 cm
Weight: 20.25 kg

Honu has kindly been adopted for Kathryn by Michael, by Olga Koreneva & Ksenia Kazakova, Isabell and for Tami by Paul.

Honu arrived at the Rescue Centre by sea plane and was given a full medical assessment by Dr Minnie and Dr Claire.

When Honu was found, she had a bit of rope with a bucket attached so tightly wound around her flipper that it had cut through her bone. Sadly, when the rescuers carefully lifted her out of the water, the remains of her flipper fell off. Thankfully, the wound had already started healing so she likely won’t need surgery. She is also suffering from mild buoyancy.

Otherwise Honu seems to be in good condition and is already eating. We will monitor her wound and buoyancy and hope we can release her soon.

29 March 2021
Honu took a while to settle in. She was a bit stressed by the tank environment, giving herself some sore rub injuries to her nose which we are treating. We have taken x-rays to determine if her stump needs to be removed. For the moment we have left it but we will reassess next week. She may also need surgery to her nose if it continues to be severely inflamed. 

4 April 2021
Honu had surgery this week to remove the damaged end of her left flipper stump, and also to clean up her nose and repair a broken flipper bone on her right flipper. The surgery went really well. She woke up quickly and spent the night on a comfy padded bed until she went back in her tank the following morning. It’s very encouraging to see her trying to dive. She has already made significant progress since she arrived, so we are confident it won’t be long before she overcomes her buoyancy issues and can be released!

11 April 2021
Honu is a completely normal diver now, having regained her buoyancy control around the time of her surgery. She can now easily rest on the bottom – which is great! Her amputation site is looking good, but unfortunately she does still have some scar tissue on her nose and she has some bone exposure of one of her finger bones on the right flipper. This might need revision surgery once we’ve assessed via x-rays next week.

18 April 2021
Honu has healed up beautifully following her amputation, and her nose is looking great too. She has a final blood sample next week and then we will be releasing her on Tuesday 20th!

20 April 2021
Honu went home today! She swam away, deep into the blue, happy to be back home.