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Turtle Patient 149: Jannicke, Adult Female Olive Ridley

Turtle patient smiling Jannicke in her tank. Image.

Jannicke was found entangled in a ghost net, along with an adult male olive ridley turtle called Kokko, near Thulhadoo in Baa Atoll by the Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu boat crew.

The Vitals

Intake Date: 31 May 2021
Patient Number: 149
Rescue Location: Baa Atoll
Reason: Found entangled
Transport Method: Speedboat
Status: Released 28 September 2021

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Female
Age: Adult
Length: 66.5 cm
Weight: 30.85 kg

Jannicke has kindly been adopted by Nathalie Popovic, Katherine, Tess & Luke, Verena Kofler, Sarah, and by Franciszek Jemiolo.

Jannicke’s Story

Jannicke is a large adult female olive ridley who was found entangled with a large male called Kokko. Kokko weighed in at 42 kg but thankfully wasn’t very entangled or injured, so we were able to release him the following day. Jannicke, unfortunately, was more injured and remains at the Rescue Centre. She has severe ghost net entanglement wounds to her right front and back flipper. The right front looks unsalvageable at this stage, but we will hopefully be able to save the back right flipper. She needs at least some of her back right flipper to maneuver around.

Jannicke can dive, but she isn’t able to at the moment with her flippers in this state. She has had one surgery to remove damaged tissue but didn’t stay very sleepy, so she will be having a follow up surgery to amputate in the near future.

13 June 2021
Jannicke has had a tough week. She had surgery on 10th of June which went well but was difficult, and she lost quite a lot of blood due to the severely altered anatomy of the area. We were also able to diagnose pneumonia via x-rays and samples of mucus from her windpipe. She took a while to recover due to needing high doses of anaesthetic, but as the week went on, she slowly and steadily got more alert and active. At the moment she is buoyant, but we expect that to improve with time as she gets over her lung infection. 

20 June 2021
Jannicke is a lovely yet challenging patient! She has a big food aversion and hates us putting anything near her face, so it has been a big challenge to get her to eat. We have taken her out of her tank every day since she arrived for fluids and for bandage changes, but Dr Minnie decided to give her a few days break to see if the stress reduction would encourage her to eat — and it sort of worked! She at least opened her mouth to try which was great!

We will be trying with some more crabs, and also reducing the frequency of her treatments, in the hope that we can manage her stress sufficiently to encourage appetite. Her surgical wound is healing well and her back right foot, although very damaged, does show signs of improvement. She isn’t diving yet but we know she has the ability to do it, so hopefully she will start to give it a go soon!

27 June 2021
Jannicke is now finally eating more consistently and is also trying to dive, so everything is looking good! Her back right flipper wound is still significant but it seems to be healing well. We have been a bit more hands off with wound care as the stress of that was leading to her not eating. We have now struck a good balance of every 3 to 4 days.

4 July 2021
Jannicke has had a great week; she has started diving and being able to rest on the bottom of her tank! She has also started eating more consistently, although our attempts to get her newly prescribed tablets in her are very frustrating as she always spits them out!

11 July 2021
Jannicke is getting the hang of this eating and diving thing now! She still closes her eyes in slight panic when she gets fed, but she will at least eat consistently now. She has also been able to rest on the bottom more regularly. She had x-rays on Monday which unfortunately revealed the beginnings of a bone infection on her left elbow, but without an associated reduction in movement. This is frustrating but manageable with the new medication she has been started on this week.

18 July 2021
Jannicke is swimming, diving and resting on the bottom so well, not to mention she has started to eat really keenly from the floor now, so no more messing around during feeding times! She needs to finish her antifungal course of around 6 to 8 weeks and then she will be able to go home!

25 July 2021
Jannicke is doing so well these days! She is taking her medication really well in the morning and now happily eats a variety of fish. She is cruising around on the bottom and can dive with absolute ease now. Once she has finished her medication in the next 5 weeks or so, she will be off back into the deep – providing her elbow infection has healed on the x-rays too.

1 August 2021
Jannicke is doing really well; she dives, eats and swims like a champ! She had a repeat x-ray this Sunday to assess how her elbow is coming along (she has an infection) and, unfortunately, it does seem to have deteriorated slightly. She will continue on one of her meds and be started on a new one to try and get on top of things, but certainly the rate of deterioration has slowed down – which is at least encouraging.

8 August 2021
Jannicke is taking her tablets really well daily and is also bright active and acting as she should. 

26 August 2021
Jannicke is looking very well. She is a strong and feisty turtle and is just finishing her course of antibiotics following the discovery of her osteomyelitis (bone infection) in her front flipper. As soon as this has cleared up, she will also be able to be released!

7 September 2021
Jannicke continues to look good. Her x-rays also look promising, and she will hopefully be released in a few weeks.

12 September 2021
Jannicke is still looking good. She is strong and will be finishing her antibiotic course in the next few days. If she keeps diving well and remains infection free, we hope to release her in the coming weeks.

20 September 2021
Jannicke has now finished her course of antibiotics following the discovery of her osteomyelitis (bone infection) in her front flipper. Her x-rays look promising and if the follow-up x-ray in a few weeks also shows no sign of further infection, she will be released.

27 September 2021
Jannicke has been off medication for 2 weeks now and had her last set of x-rays to confirm that everything is still stable with no meds onboard. Thankfully that is the case, and we will be releasing Jannicke this week!

28 September 2021
Jannicke was released from the beach today and is back home where she belongs after four months at the Rescue Centre