Turtle Patient 199: Shara, Adult Female Olive Ridley

Turtle patient Shara in the tank at the rescue centre, looking curious. Image.

Shara was found floating and unable to dive despite her many attempts in South Ari Atoll. With the help of the staff of Maafushivaru’s dive centre, this big girl was rescued and transported to our Marine Turtle Rescue Centre.

The Vitals

Intake Date: 15 January 2023
Patient Number: 199
Rescue Location: South Ari Atoll
Reason: Found floating
Transport Method: Seaplane & Speedboat
Status: Current patient

Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Sex: Female
Age: Adult
Length: 63 cm
Weight: 22.2 kg

The Adoptive Parents

Shara has kindly been adopted by for Vincent by Anne Carey, by Kris Zimmerman, Laura Hiscock, Christian, for Petra by Jannis Gehrlein, for Ian by Kathrine Shelton, by Jeffrey D. Moir, by Kim Partyka, for Chiara by Francesca, by Katrin Gläsmann, for Thomas by Katrin, for Ronald & Kathy by Murray Goodman, by Gabriela Schänzle, by John & Heather, for Amelia by Spencer Schoenberg, by Steven, Shara, Halei, & Sophia, for Jens by Marina, by Evan Strat, for Stephen by Amy Leow, and by Rachel Rehberg.

Shara’s Story

Upon arrival, Shara did not have any obvious external injuries so we did some imaging to get a better idea of her condition. Her X-rays showed signs of drowning and pneumonia (a secondary lung infection). They also showed an abnormal accumulation of material in her stomach and excessive gas build up in her lower intestinal tract, which is preventing her from diving.

Her blood work however is not critical although she has an infection, which we will treat her for. She is currently receiving fluid therapy, antibiotics, analgesia and multivitamins. We will soon be performing further diagnostics pending on her progress in the next few days.

12 February 2023
Shara was started on therapy and pain relieve and after some days she passed different types of plastic in her faeces (from styrofoam to rubber). After that, she started feeling better and began eating. She has now a voracious appetite and is much brighter. However, she is still buoyant and thus we are starting her on an adapted feeding scheme to motivate her to dive down since she is very food orientated.

12 March 2023
Shara has been diving down for her food although not very graciously yet. We started her on a weight therapy this past week to promote a more physiological body position and hopefully help her improve her diving abilities. The injuries on her flippers are much improved and she is now off all medications as well.

9 April 2023
Shara has been improving her diving skills! The Targeted External Weight Therapy she has been on for the past weeks has really been helping her to adapt to a more physiological position in the water and to rewire her brain as to how diving works. Given she has a voracious appetite we use feeding sessions to train her diving abilities.

1 May 2023
Shara has been responding really well to the targeted external weight therapy we placed on her last month. She no longer requires a lateral weight as she has learned how to stay central in the water and has been improving her diving skills. Shara is now able to spend most of her day submerged!

Adopt Shara

When you symbolically adopt one of our turtle patients you will receive:

  • A personalised adoption certificate with the history of your adopted turtle patient
  • A fact sheet about the species of sea turtle
  • Updates on how your adopted turtle’s recovery is going (if you wish)
  • Notification in the case of a release

We ask for a minimum one time gift donation of £75 to adopt a turtle patient. You can also choose to make a monthly donation.

Once we receive confirmation of the donation and your adoption form (please make sure the names on the donation and adoption forms match), we will issue the adoption certificate with details about the turtle patient to you or the gift recipient. Please allow 7 days for the issuing of the certificate.

By adopting one of our turtle patients, you will contribute towards the cost of our patients’ veterinary care, medications, and transport. You will also help fund our core charitable objectives to protect sea turtles and their habitats through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education and outreach.