Turtle Patient 143: Thari, Juvenile Olive Ridley
Thari was found floating, already missing her front left flipper, near One & Only Reethi Rah in North Malé Atoll.
Intake Date: 4 March 2021
Patient Number: 143
Rescue Location: North Malé Atoll
Reason: Found floating, missing flipper
Transport Method: Seaplane
Status: Released 1 July 2021
Species: Olive ridley
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
Length: 55.3 cm
Weight: 14.6 kg
Thari has kindly been adopted by Eva Kormošová, by Maureen, by Anina & Philipp, by Estrella González Tàpias, for Paia and Lucca by Paul, Jarno, by Anja & Felix Kohl, and by the Shampoo Bars Team.
Thari has some historic damage to her carapace, and in areas it is soft and quite abnormal. She is quite buoyant because of these injuries. Not only has ghost gear claimed her from left flipper, but she also has signs of ligature marks around her neck, so she’s lucky she wasn’t strangled. Thari is eating well which is encouraging, but it remains to be seen if her buoyancy issues will resolve.
15 March 2021
Thari is quite the feisty soul! She is super keen on food – which is great to see. She tries hard to dive and we continue to monitor her progress, but it will take some time due to the wounds she has sustained.
22 March 2021
Thari is such a bright little spark! She eats voraciously and is always trying to dive – unfortunately she is still struggling to do so, but we will keep an eye on her.
29 March 2021
Thari is food obsessed and doing really well! She is bright and active, but still struggling to dive – which we unfortunately suspect will be ongoing. Hopefully, if we can fundraise for our new endoscope, we can go inside and have a direct look at what the trauma is and whether we can help her overcome it.
4 April 2021
Thari is fast becoming a Rescue Centre favourite; she is unendingly feisty and active! She has been trying to dive this week, and on Friday made quite a good go of it, but unfortunately she is still fighting against a damaged lung, so it remains to be seen whether she can overcome that.
11 April 2021
Thari has so much personality crammed into her little body! She is a voracious eater and often barges her tank mates out the way for food at feeding time; we now have to have a designated Thari feeder to ensure everyone else gets their share! She has been sitting lower in the water this week, which is really encouraging, and perhaps indicates that her buoyancy issues may not be insurmountable.
18 April 2021
Thari has made the most incredible progress this week. In only one day she went from making a small attempt to dive down for food, to being able to actually touch the bottom to eat! We were all gobsmacked and elated. She seemed to make a months worth of progress in only a morning! She hasn’t been able to rest on the bottom yet, but we are confident it won’t be long. This is really exciting as buoyancy problems are the only issue Thari is currently dealing with. If she can overcome those, then she can go home! It’s especially impressive given she is having to overcome lung damage as a result of a likely boat strike.
25 April 2021
Thari is still practicing her diving and is getting better! Some days are better than others but she is trending in a good direction. We feed her from the bottom now and although it can take her some time to reach the food, she is so food motivated that she works hard to get down there to eat.
2 May 2021
Thari is probably our biggest personality at the Rescue Centre! She is continuing to excel with her diving and consistently feeds from the bottom of the tank these days. She still does what we call “corking” (where she pings back up to the surface in an uncontrolled way!) but that will continue to improve in time. We cannot wait until we come in one morning and find her resting on the bottom! We know it won’t be long!
9 May 2021
Thari continues to show us how it’s done! Her diving is even better, she is really active and bright, and she has managed her first unassisted rest at the bottom (for a while she was using the tank divider to wedge her carapace under so she wouldn’t float back up!). We think she will be able to be released in the next few months at this rate!
16 May 2021
Thari is overall showing great improvements in diving. She seemed to have a bit of a set back last Friday, where she was popping up a lot more again, having been very smooth the days before. However, progress isn’t always linear and the overall trend is great, so we aren’t worried! She was then even found resting on the bottom on Sunday, so it’s a little variable at the moment. We are waiting for more consistency until we consider releasing her.
22 May 2021
Thari is continuing to perform well in the big tank, showing more and more promise with diving. She has been seen to rest on the bottom 3 times now, but it isn’t quite consistent enough to consider release yet.
30 May 2021
Thari is still doing a great job with diving. She had a small set back for a few days after she was moved to a different tank while her big tank was cleaned, but by Sunday she was cruising more comfortably. Still a little way to go but we’re so happy with her progress.
6 June 2021
Thari is doing so well this week! She has been more consistently resting on the bottom and can get down there easily now. She still sometimes “corks” (pings back up to the surface) but it is getting better and better. It won’t be long before she can go home!
13 June 2021
Thari has been consistently resting on the bottom most nights this week, which is amazing! Although she is still a little bottom up when diving, it really won’t be long until she gets to go home!
20 June 2021
Thari is consistently resting on the bottom of the tank now which is wonderful, this means it won’t be long before she is ready to go home! We are thinking in the next week or so!
27 June 2021
Thari is nearly ready to go, but we’ve been holding her back just to monitor as she had a few moments where she couldn’t dive. They were short lived but we want to make sure she’s definitely OK before she goes! She spends the majority of the time resting on the bottom so the little blips she’s having are nothing to worry about.
1 July 2021
Thari was successfully released today and is back home in the big blue.