Turtle Patient 164: Loabi, post-Hatchling Green

Turtle patient Loabi in her tank, flipper bent. Image.

Loabi was found by our partners Trans Maldivian Airways near their engineering jetty at the airport in Malé. S/he was floating and had an abnormal back end, so they knew s/he needed assistance and flew her/him directly to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Dr Minnie.

The Vitals

Intake Date: 28 December 2021
Patient Number: 164
Rescue Location: North Malé Atoll
Reason: Found floating near a jetty
Transport Method: Seaplane
Status: Released 8 February 2022

Species: Green
Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas
Sex: Unknown
Age: Post-Hatchling
Length: 10.5 cm
Weight: 0.137 kg

The Adoptive Parents

Loabi has kindly been adopted by Veronika, Pash Baker, Alberto, for Thijs by Flora, by the team at Saywhat Bottles, Corina, Rachel Burke, and by Taheerah Atchia.

Loabi’s Story

Loabi (pronounced “Lobi”, meaning “Love” in Dhivehi) is a post-hatchling green sea turtle weighing only 137g. She has a prolapsed cloaca, an uncommon condition where some of the internal tissues of the cloaca protrude to the outside. This is caused most commonly by infections, parasites or blockages, or sometimes a combination of all three.

Her X-ray did show she has quite a lot of material in her guts but at this stage it doesn’t seem to be blocked. It’s unclear what has caused her prolapse, but it is quite severe and will need fixing. Thankfully, in the meantime, Loabi is bright and active and eating very well. We are monitoring what she is passing closely, as it is possible she may have plastic in her guts. 

2 January 2022
Loabi is settling in very well at the Rescue Centre; she is active and bright with an excellent appetite. We have attempted to medically fix her prolapse, which was moderately successful. However, we have noted that it seems to be improving just with time, so we are monitoring closely. We collected a faecal sample this week to rule out any parasites and she will have a repeat X-ray next week. Loabi has taken to rubbing and scratching her shell on the floating tube we have put in her tank and it’s really lovely to watch!

9 January 2022
Loabi is doing really well. We found lots of sargassum for her to hide in which mimics their natural environment and helps to reduce stress. Her cloacal prolapse has got significantly smaller but still hasn’t reduced fully yet, so she needs a bit more time and care. She is eating really well and diving like a pro!

16 January 2022
Loabi is loving her sargassum habitat and is as active and hungry as ever. Her prolapse is gradually improving and hopefully it won’t be too long before she is ready to head back out to the wild!

23 January 2022
Loabi is improving day by day. Her prolapse has reduced significantly but we still have a little bit more to improve on. She is nearly finished with her medication and is eating, diving and active.

30 January 2022
Loabi is looking absolutely great. Her prolapse is significantly better and we are just waiting for a little bit more to resolve before we can get her back out into the ocean! She eats, dives and swims like an absolute champion.

6 February 2022
Loabi has been her usual bright and active self, and in fact we are gearing up to release her! She will have a last X-ray before hopefully going home this week! We will keep you posted. 

8 February 2022
Loabi had a successful release out into the deep – our last patient of 2021 but our first release of 2022! She had almost fully recovered from her cloacal prolapse and was a very active hungry little turtle so we definitely knew it was time for her to go. She did some impressive growing while with us and she shot off straight away into the deep when we let her go so we knew she was ready!