All Turtle Patients

Meet Shellma, an Adult Female Olive Ridley Found Entangled

Shellma was found entangled in a ghost net near Soneva Jani Resort in Noonu Atoll, already missing one of her front flippers.

Intake Date: 16 January 2021
Length: 59.5 cm
Weight: 19.3 kg
Status: Released 18 February 2021

Shellma has been adopted by Maureen Bianca Saldi and for Saoirse by Cliona.

Shellma arrived by speedboat from Soneva Jani Resort via Soneva Fushi. She had self-amputated her right front flipper during her struggle to free herself from the ghost net and only has some exposed bone left. In addition, her back right flipper has a historic – and already healed below the knee – amputation. So this is likely not her first encounter with a ghost net.

Shellma is mildly buoyant at the moment and will need surgery to remove the rest of her exposed bone. Despite all this, we are hopeful that she has sufficient flipper remaining on that right side to swim normally. She is also a little anaemic, so will be having iron injections before she is scheduled for surgery.

24 January 2021
Shellma had her infected stump/bone removed in a successful procefure last Saturday. She was a little slow to recover but came round well and was happily swimming by Sunday morning. Her appetite is still great and her wound looks great. We are waiting to find her sleeping on the bottom again like she was doing before surgery. When her stitches are out in 4 weeks, she will be released!

31 January 2021
Shellma is healing up well – she is eating well and diving much more easily now that she is in the big tank. Her stitches have one more week and then she will have her release scheduled. She had a repeat blood sample this week to check on her anaemia, and her red blood cell level has gone from 17% before surgery up to 20% as of the 29th which is great news: It means her red blood cells are regenerating after all the blood she lost when she was found and her right flipper came off. 

7 February 2021
Shellma has seemed a little quiet this week, but we think she is generally quite a plodder. When food comes out she can dive all around the tank with aplomb. Her wound is healing really well. She will need a few more blood samples to check how her anaemia is doing before she is ready to go, but it won’t be long!

18 February 2021
Shellma went home today! At first, she took a little while to get her bearings and catch her breath, but soon enough – to the cheers of a boat full of well-wishers – she dived down and disappeared into the big blue. Good luck, Shellma!