Turtle Patient 174: Kalo, Adult Male Olive Ridley
Intake Date: 20 January 2022
Patient Number: 174
Rescue Location: Baa Atoll
Reason: Found entangled
Transport Method: Speedboat
Status: Current patient
Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Length: 70.4 cm
Weight: 30.7 kg
The Adoptive Parents
Kalo has kindly been adopted for Tim by Andrea Koch, by Bri Cameron, Maddi Paull, for Darren by David Curtis, by Michael Heinen, Angela, Anna Katima Rothley, the Saywhat Bottles Team, Birgit Kebsak, and for Claire B. by Maria Gorman.
Kalo is a large adult male olive ridley turtle. He was found entangled in a ghost net at Vakkaru Resort’s house reef. He has bad entanglement wounds to both front flippers and a number of deep lacerations from shark bites. We will need to perform surgery on Kalo to clean up his wounds with the hope of saving all his flippers. He is quite sore at the moment, but stable.
6 February 2022
Kalo bounced back well from his surgery and has been having regular wound care this week. His right front flipper is still very concerning but thankfully he continues to have good motion in it. Unfortunately, his left flipper continues to deteriorate, and we are prepping for surgery this coming week – we will likely be performing a partial amputation, to see if we can preserve his first 2 digits so that he can continue to breed in the future. He is eating prawns well but hasn’t moved on to tuna yet.
13 February 2022
Kalo underwent surgery this week to clean up all the dead tissue on his left flipper. We were so hopeful that we could save it, as he did have moderate function, but we were still concerned by how much of his humerus bone was exposed (nearly 80%). However, after a successful procedure and a smooth anaesthetic, he started waking up very vigorously and, in a freak accident, he put a lot of pressure on his left flipper and snapped his exposed humerus. We were devastated and had to re-anaesthetise him again to amputate the rest of the flipper. Unfortunately, there was not sufficient tissue to close the wound over, so we are having to manage this as an open wound. We will be monitoring it closely and ensuring the exposed bone end does not get infected.
20 February 2022
Kalo has recovered well from his surgery and is eating very well, although he hasn’t moved on from prawns yet. His left amputated stump is healing surprisingly well, although it remains to be seen how his cut bone end will heal. We are keeping a close eye as it’s very easy for that to become infected or start to die off. His right flipper is looking really good, despite the severity of the bone exposure. He has been moved to the big tank in order to give him more space to practice diving and he seems to be handling life with Jodie, Atlas and Pickle quite well.
6 March 2022
Kalo is healing very well. His right flipper wound, which was a big concern when he arrived, has healed very well in a relatively short space of time with the combo of good nutrition, wound care and antibiotics, plus a hefty dose of sea turtle’s natural amazing healing abilities! His left amputation site is still being closely monitored as there is still significant bone exposure. We will repeat his X-ray in the next few days to assess how it is doing. He is finally eating tuna now, instead of just prawns, and with increasing strength in that right flipper, he has been attempting a few dives.
13 March 2022
Kalo had a repeat X-ray this morning which revealed that the bone end of his amputated left flipper is healing very well, and his right flipper is almost completely normal. This is really amazing news considering how much of his humerus was exposed. He made a very small attempt to dive this week but is still significantly buoyant, so it will take some time for that to resolve. Once his wounds have fully healed, he might be a good candidate for sea swims.
20 March 2022
Kalo continues to heal up really well and is a bright, active and alert turtle. We are very happy with his progress. His buoyancy is still a problem but we have noticed that he is starting to attempt some dives.
27 March 2022
Kalo is fit as a fiddle and doing some little dive attempts here and there, although he is still pretty buoyant. We are hopeful now he will ramp up his efforts given that his wounds are 95% healed. He is keen on his food at least!
3 April 2022
Kalo is doing really well; he had follow up X-rays this week which showed his left flipper stump is healing nicely. He developed a small bit of damage to his left eye, most likely from knocking into something, and it was causing him a little bit of discomfort, but within a few days it has already improved. We just need Kalo to dive now!
10 April 2022
Kalo is the superstar of the week! He made his first ever little dive attempt for food and managed to just about get the end of his carapace under water, although it’s still very early days. We continue to encourage him to dive for his food, and we are confident he will regain his buoyancy in time.
24 April 2022
Kalo needs major encouragement to dive. We will continue to weigh down her food during feeding time and are also considering weight therapy. Kalo might also be a candidate for the sea cage at Atoll Marine Center in the future.
1 May 2022
Kalo needs encouragement at all points to dive when he is eating. We have been weighing down his food during feeding time, but he hasn’t shown diving attempts so far. We are considering weight therapy and a repeat X-ray of his left flipper stump.
8 May 2022
We started Kalo on buoy training during feeding sessions and are delighted to report that he is diving deeper than he would before! We are planning to continue the training throughout the week to keep the momentum going.
15 May 2022
Similarly to Leonardo, we stopped the buoy training for Kalo due to the possibility of foreign body ingestion. He is otherwise making huge improvements in diving, however, the diving attempts are still limited to during feeding times only. We are looking into re-designing the buoy to reduce the risk of ingestion.
22 May 2022
We are still waiting for Kalo to dive voluntarily, but not joy thus far. We are planning to transfer Kalo to the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at One&Only Reethi Rah next week as Tibby will be coming back here for some checkups.
29 May 2022
This week we swapped Kalo and Tibby; Kalo is now at the Rehabilitation Centre at One&Only Reethi Rah – hopefully the big thank will help him recover faster – whilst Tibby has gone to Dr June for some tests.
5 June 2022
After his transfer to the One&Only Rehabilitation Center, Kalo stopped eating for a few days, but his appetite has finally returned and he has started eating a little bit–mainly mussels, lobster heads and prawns. He is sitting lower in the water and is actively trying to dive each day, so we hope it won’t be long before he is ready to be released!
12 June 2022
Kalo continues show considerable improvement during his training against a strong current, staying lower in the water column with his shell completely under the water most of the time! This is great news and we hope he continues along this path. His eating habits are still a little tricky; he does not eat fish so we feed him a constant supply of lobster heads, prawns and fish liver to keep him happy and active.
26 June 2022
Kalo is doing great at the Rehabilitation Centre. He has put on 1.5 kg and is trying to dive for food every day. However, he is still very buoyant and struggles to get under the water. He also loves rubbing himself on the brushes in the tank to keep his shell nice and clean!