Turtle Patient Update Issue 8 | 2022



Crwban – Arrived 8 March 2022

Turtle patient Crwban on his release back into the ocean. Image.

Crwban was continuing to swim perfectly in tanks and diving very well for his food. Over the last month, he had shown significant improvement. He was spotted at the bottom of the tank most of the time and showed good buoyancy control at different levels in the water column.

Our team took Crwban out for a routine sea swim to observe his buoyancy control in his natural environment. Much to their delight, Crwban was very confident and happy during his swim and was diving for more than 10 meters, exploring and hunting for food. Having already repeated his diagnostics, which revealed findings of no clinical significance, the team decided to release him during the swim.

New Arrivals

Naseeb – Arrived 7 august 2022

Turtle patient Naseeb in the tank with his flipper raised. Image.

Naseeb, a juvenile olive ridley, was found entangled in a ghost net by a boat crew near North Ari Atoll, Kandolhu Resort. His rescuers were able to remove him from the nets, but they noticed that he was struggling to dive. Two seaplanes later, Naseeb arrived at the Rescue Centre and we saw that he had suffered terrible injuries – both his front flippers and left rear flipper had deep entanglement wounds with exposed bone.

We have started him on fluid therapy, pain relief, and antibiotics to bring him upto health, so that in the coming days, a thorough surgical wound treatment under anesthesia can be performed for Naseeb.

Fida – Arrived 6 August 2022

Turtle patient Fida in her tank. Image.

Fida, a juvenile olive ridley, was found floating on the water surface, struggling to breathe and swim at Soneva Jani in Noonu Atoll. Upon her arrival at the Rescue Center, Fida appeared dehydrated and we noticed that her shell was covered with red algae. She had also lost her right front flipper and half of her right rear flipper, leaving behind exposed bone on that flipper.

Thankfully, Fida was responsive and surprisingly seemed brighter than expected – especially considering the extent of her injuries. We took X-rays and blood samples on the day of her arrival and started a conservative treatment plan based on the findings. We are focusing on pain control, prevention of infection, regular wound debridement and cleaning. We also will continue fluid therapy to keep her hydrated. Since her already amputated flippers are healing well, the approach we have decided on is to leave her with as much stump as possible, especially since the lesions are on the same side. We will be repeating diagnostics fortnightly to monitor her.

Kakuni, Arrived 17 July 2022

Closeup of Kankuni in her tank. Image.

Kakuni, an adult female olive ridley, was found entangled in ghost nets in Raa Atoll. She was transferred to our partner resort Joali Being on the same day, where she was held in a seawater tank while she waited for a flight transfer to the Rescue Centre.

Once she arrived, we found that Kakuni had a deep wound at her right front flipper with multiple exposed bones, caused by the entanglement. The X-ray showed that her flipper was unfortunately broken. Along with that, Kakuni even had a corneal injury in her right eye.

Seeing her poor condition, we immediately set to work and performed an amputation surgery for Kakuni’s right flipper. Thankfully, she showed quick improvement post surgery – Kakuni is now brighter, more active and is eating well. She is undergoing regular wound care, and seems to be gaining energy with each passing day. Although she hasn’t shown any diving attempts yet, we are confident that Kakuni will get there slowly but surely.

Resident Patients

Uno, Arrived 28 June 2022

Turtle patient Uno facing the camera. Image.

Uno continues to use both front flippers well, despite some abnormal orientation and range of motion on the right side. He has had no issue diving for his food and is maintaining an excellent appetite! His most recent diagnostic for his front right flipper has shown minimal improvement, however on a positive note, there has been no deterioration either. We have started him on a course of oral anti-fungal medication and will be monitoring his progress closely over the next few months.

Gus – Arrived 30 May 2022

Closeup of turtle patient Gus. Image.

Gus’s wounds have been healing well all of last month, with no sign of infection so far. He has been using his remaining three flippers well and has started diving and resting at the bottom of his tank!
Over the last month, Gus has gotten more active, and is often spotted diving for his seagrass meals – which he absolutely loves! However, there seems to be some abnormality in buoyancy control as he appears to be positively buoyant most of the time when at rest. We will continue to encourage him to dive during feeding and hopefully he’ll get his buoyancy under control. Otherwise, his repeat X-rays and blood-work findings showed good results, which we are very happy with!

Basil – Arrived 15 May 2022

Closeup of turtle patient Basil in his tank with flipper raised. Image.

Basil has been using both his front flippers well. However, due to a slow-healing superficial wound which recently appeared on his right front flipper, we have restarted his pain relief medications. We suspect that this wound is self-inflicted and therefore are keeping him under observation. Repeat X-rays revealed improvement in bone changes, and while the wound at his front flipper appears to be reducing in size, the central region is still deep and may take some time.

We will continue monitoring Basil’s wounds and will perform repeat diagnostics in the coming week. Other than that, Basil is swimming speedily and eating well and are hopeful that we will be able to release him soon enough!

Pepe – Arrived 13 May 2022

Closeup of turtle patient Pepe. Image.

Pepe has shown great progress. Her most recent X-rays and blood test results indicated an overall improvement in her wound healing. There was no abnormality observed in her lung fields suggesting that her inability to dive might be contributed by behavioural or stress factors. However, over the last month, Pepe has shown significant improvement in diving, especially when using buoy feeders. She was seen diving to a depth of approximately 20cm, with her carapace completely submerged. The team is extremely excited to see her improvement and have been planning for sea swims, which were postponed all this while due to the rough weather.

In other news, Pepe has been placed in the large tank with Leonardo, separated by a divider. Both turtles curiously peek at each other from between the gaps of the divider at the bottom of the tank and Pepe also tries intermittently to dive to reach out to Leonardo at the bottom. This has been interesting to observe since sea turtles are solitary individuals and prefer being on their own.

Jazeera – Arrived 24 April 2022

Turtle patient Jazeera in the tank. Image.

Jazeera’s X-ray and blood-work results showed significant improvement last month. Therefore, after another round of diagnostics, we took him off his antibiotics and continued to manage his wounds regularly. The swelling of his stump near the surgical site too has reduced further by more than 80-90% now.

Jazeera continues to amaze us with his skills, and is the fastest diver amongst all patients, especially during feeding time. We are extremely satisfied with his progress and believe he will be fit for release very soon.

Leonardo – Arrived 14 February 2022

Closeup of turtle patient Leonardo. Image.

Leo often goes ‘on a protest’ refusing to dive after being moved to a different tank, when his tank is getting cleaned. He is otherwise very active during feeding time and spends most of the day peeking at Pepe from under the divider on the opposite side. He has been relying on his rear flippers to dive and we have been encouraging him to practice using his right front flipper during feeding time. Thankfully, as per his recent X-rays, there has been some improvement at his shoulder joint in the right front flipper!

Heidi – Arrived 21st April 2018

Turtle patient Heidi in his tank. Image.

We are still working with The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to prepare for Heidi’s transfer. Meanwhile, back at the Rescue Centre, Heidi has been his usual self – diving, eating his meals well, and busy greeting guests whenever approached!


Kalo – Arrived 20 January 2022, Transferred to AMC 27 July 2022

Turtle patient Kalo in the tank, facing the camera. Image.

Since his transfer to the Rehabilitation Centre at One&Only Reethi Rah, Kalo had been showing obvious improvement in diving and by the end of last month, he was even diving against strong currents, and was also able to completely submerge his shell.

Due to technical issues with the tank at the Rehabilitation Centre at the end of July, we had to move Kalo. Thankfully, our friends at Atoll Marine Centre (AMC) accepted our request for an urgent transfer and are now looking after him. Hopefully Kalo will get a chance to practice diving in their sea cage – which would help speed up his recovery.

After initially being a little stressed, he now seems to have settled in well at AMC and is a lot more relaxed. Kalo doesn’t seem to like tuna – he just takes it and spits it out. However, he is really enjoying his crabs! Kalo had to spend some time in the tanks at AMC due to rough weather, but now that the skies and seas have cleared up, he has been safely transferred to the sea cage.