All Turtle Patients

Meet Thomas, A Ghost Net Victim From South Ari Atoll

Thomas had a long journey to the Rescue Centre. She arrived by sea plane from Dhigurah South Ari Atoll with the help of Lux Resorts. On the way, Thomas spent a few days being cared for by Marine Savers.

Intake Date: 18th June 2019
Weight: 27 kg
Status: Released 22nd October 2019

Thomas has been adopted by Thomas’s School Battersea in London, Year 2 Class (2019), by Iris Weiskopf, for Amira by Frans, by Noah Rigby, for Andy by Laura Bryant, for Wimon by Robert Paton, by Alexandra & Olive and by Lena Reinert.

Thomas is a fully grown, adult female olive ridley. She needed an amputation on arrival due to a severely broken bone and damaged muscle and skin. She then was stabilised before her surgery to amputate the remaining part of the limb.  She had surgery on the 23rd of June and has recovered very well from the procedure. 

Thomas is a shy turtle and does not like people watching her while she eats.  Although she is a fussy eater, crabs are definitely her favourite and she gets excited when they are on the menu. Her appetite has slowly improved: She started eating fish, but was not a fan of tuna.  A week later, she started eating anything given to her!

Thomas did, however, develop a skin infection. This is being treated with iodine soaks daily and antibiotic cream, and she is also on an inject-able antibiotic. We hope this resolves quickly. The skin lesions are already healing, but they will still take some time.

27 July 2019
Thomas had some vitamin supplements this week and she is feeling much better. Her skin infection continues to improve, and she doesn’t need to have treatments as frequently. She is getting stronger every day and she is letting us know it!

3 August 2019
Thomas has been great this week.  Her skin lesions continue to improve.  She is gaining weight and her appetite is wonderful.  She is still buoyant at this stage.  Hopefully she will try to dive soon.

10 August 2019
Thomas was moved to the big tank this week to encourage her to dive.  The tank has been split in half with a large divider, so she has a much bigger space which she is enjoying.  She is eating well and healing well.  Her stitches were removed this week and her surgery site looks great.

Thomas has been named by Thomas’s School Battersea in London for their Year 2 Class. They have decided to group together for their end of year presents to adopt her!

17 August 2019
Thomas has been well. Although she continues to float, she is sitting lower in the water this week. This is a good sign that she is on the way to getting her buoyancy issues under control.

26 August 2019
Thomas has had x-rays this week. She has a bone infection located at her elbow joint. She is currently on medication and we will be monitoring her closely. She continues to use her flipper well, so it is not causing her any pain.

2 September 2019
Thomas has been diving this week! She can reach the bottom of the tank before she pops back up to the surface.  She is enjoying having this ability back, but does tire after a while. Her course of antibiotics has finished and she will have x-rays in a couple of weeks to recheck her elbow.

11 September 2019
Thomas is still practicing her diving this week. Her elbow recheck x-ray is happening soon. She is cruising along quite well and is just needing a little more time to get her buoyancy issues under control before she can be released.

23 September 2019
Thomas is enjoying the large tank. She loves to cruise around and around. Her dives are lasting longer, and her buoyancy is almost under control, but she can’t yet sleep at the bottom. Thomas’ last elbow x-ray showed no change – which is wonderful news. We will continue to monitor her elbow closely. She has really enjoyed her enrichment this week. We gave her a floating ball and she carried it around on her back.

1 October 2019
Thomas is now in her final preparations for being released. She is not far off now, perhaps a week or two. Her buoyancy issue is almost under control and everything is looking great for her. She is eating well, her shell wounds have almost healed and her bone infection is not active anymore.     

7 October 2019
Thomas is getting closer to release. We are thinking one more week and she will be ready. She continues to do very well and is now spending time sleeping on the bottom of her tank. It will be an exciting day when we say goodbye to her. 

14 October 2019
Thomas is very close to being released. She is still spending a lot of time on the bottom of the tank but is sleeping at the surface at night. Her release day will be soon!

22 October 2019
Thomas was successfully released back to the ocean where she belongs on 22nd October 2019. A boat full of well wishers saw her off – she came up for a quick breath and then disappeared fast into the deep.