Turtle Patient Update Issue 9 | 2022

Last Updated: September 14, 2022


Jazeera – Arrived 24 April 2022, Released 13 August 2022

Jazeera being released from the beach at Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlu. Image.

Jazeera was found at Constance Moofushi in South Ari Atoll, entangled in a ghost net. Unfortunately, one of his flippers was so badly injured that it could not be saved and the veterinary team had to perform amputation surgery for him. Following his surgery, he recovered speedily and was one of the fastest divers amongst all patients. Once his pre-release diagnostics were cleared, he was released on 13th of August from the beach at Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlu. Once in the ocean, he dived deep and disappeared into his home.

Basil – Arrived 15 May 2022, Released 20 August 2022

Now Released Turtle Patient Basil in his tank. Image.

Basil’s journey began with us when he was found struggling and entangled in a massive load of ghost gear in North Malé Atoll. He had sustained deep wounds on his right front flipper and upon diagnostics, it was discovered that he had a bone infection in that flipper. After several rounds of antibiotics and treatment, Basil eventually recovered from his injuries. His pre-release diagnostics showed good results and just like Jazeera, he was one of the most confident divers at the centre. The team eventually elected to release Basil from a boat, on 20th August, and were happy to see him swim off confidently into the ocean.

Resident Patients

Naseeb – Arrived 7 august 2022

Turtle patient Naseeb in his thank. Image.

Naseeb had to undergo two surgical debridements under anesthesia so that we could remove dead and infected tissue from his wounds. After a bit of a hiccup in his recovery following the second surgery, where Naseeb became dull and exhibited a lack of appetite, he is now back to eating prawns and fish consistently. He is being supported by daily fluids and has over the month, gained all of the weight he lost previously due to his impaired recovery.

While his demeanour has improved gradually, his activity levels remain low overall, and he is not using his left front flipper as much as we would like while swimming. His repeat X-rays have revealed a bone infection at his left shoulder joint, which is consistent with the poor usage of that flipper. In response, we have added a course of anti-fungal to his treatment plan, and continue to monitor him closely. 

Fida – Arrived 6 August 2022

Closeup of Fida in her tank. Image.

Last month, Fida underwent a deep wound debridement (removal of dead tissue) procedure, where small amounts of her exposed bones were gently trimmed off. Ever since, she has shown remarkable improvement. She is much more active than before and chases after her food while being trained to turn in both directions during feeding. Despite having lost both her right flippers, she can still swim speedily in a straight line.

Fida’s diving also improved once she was moved to a medium tank. She is now able to submerge her whole carapace which is a massive improvement from when she arrived. Thankfully, her right front and rear stump wounds also continue to heal well, and her X-rays show no deterioration. Although Fida has made considerable attempts at diving, she hasn’t been successful yet. We are hoping to take her for a sea swim once the weather clears up, so that we can assess her swimming abilities in the waves and also get her to practice diving in her natural environment.

Kakuni, Arrived 17 July 2022

Kakuni in her tank, facing the camera. Image.

Kakuni’s wounds have improved significantly, thanks to consistent rounds of wound cleaning, pain relief management and antibiotic medication. Even her shell injuries, which were extensive, have reduced in size quickly, and now only the edges need healing. Although this will take a long time, we are happy that Kakuni is responding well to treatment, and she seems settled in her tank.

She is also showing obvious interest in diving during feeding time, and even though she hasn’t managed a dive yet, Kakuni can now keep her carapace submerged. Since there have been no significant changes in her most recent X-rays, we will continue her treatment plan as scheduled. We hope to release her as soon as she finishes her course of medications and starts diving.

Uno, Arrived 28 June 2022

Closeup of turtle patient Uno. Image.

Uno is doing excellently and we couldn’t be happier for him! His wounds have closed completely and although the range of motion at his right front flipper is still somewhat restricted, he is definitely showing marked improvement, especially when placed in larger tanks. Uno has also taken to spending his time at the tank’s window, where he keeps an eye out for food. It is therefore no surprise that he has gained weight and is very active.

Much like Gus, Uno has no issue diving for food at the bottom of the tank – even using both front flippers with good range of movement, close to or almost symmetrically sometimes. We hope to see consistent improvement in his bone infection so that he can get back to the ocean as soon as possible.

Gus – Arrived 30 May 2022

Closeup of turtle patient Gus making bubbles in his tank. Image.

Gus is one of the most graceful divers amongst our patients and has excellent buoyancy control. Since his full surgical debridement under anesthesia last month, most of Gus’s wounds have closed, while his left front stump continues to heal well. Gus has been upgraded to the medium tank and this really encourages him to show off his diving skills. We have been leaving his favourite seagrass meals at the bottom of the tank, and we often spot him munching away happily. Safe to say, this method is working very well, and Gus remains active using his three flippers wonderfully.

We will continue Gus’s course of medications and provide repeat diagnostics to monitor his progress closely. Once his bone is fully healed, we hope it won’t be long before he heads back home to the real seagrass meadows.

Pepe – Arrived 13 May 2022

Closeup of turtle patient Pepe in his tank. Image.

All of the dive training for Pepe is paying off! We have been using weighted buoy feeders to encourage her to dive deeper. Not only has she been actively responding to the buoys, she has even been attempting dives without encouragement. During feeding, she completely submerged here carapace for at least 10 seconds. The team recently brought Pepe out for a sea swim, during which she attempted multiple diving attempts. Her wounds too have been healing well, and all in all, Pepe seems to be one determined little turtle!

Leonardo – Arrived 14 February 2022

Turtle patient Leonardo, right profile. Image.

The repeat X-rays of Leo’s right front flipper and left stump suggest good healing progress. Leo is using his right front flipper more when made to dive for food, so now we are combining methods of feeding, making him dive and making him practice his turning in order to get him to use his flipper more consistently. Leo also really loves resting at the bottom of his tank, so much so that he needs convincing to come up for his breakfast and dinner!

Most recently, there has been a slight improvement in his right shoulder joint, and we therefore decided to stop both his antibiotic and anti-fungal course. We will be repeating his diagnostics to monitor his progress and will start to bring him out for regular sea swims as a form of resistance training for him to practise using his right front flipper in the currents.

Heidi – Arrived 21st April 2018

Turtle patient Heidi in his tank, looking happy. Image.

We are continuing coordination with the vet at the aquarium in UK, and hope to be able to make some progress with Heidi’s transfer in the coming month. In the meantime, Heidi continues to eat and swim well! He particularly enjoys scrubbing himself with the brushes on the side of the tank, but due to his size we do have to assist him with this a little. Heidi is still a favourite amongst our guests and supporters, and recently, he received yet another adoption, for which both Heidi and our team are grateful!


Spirit – Arrived 21 August 2022, Deceased 30th August, 2022


Spirit, a sub adult olive ridley, was found floating by Prodivers Komandoo in Lhaviyani Atoll. She was unable to dive despite sharks circling below and was not swimming away from divers. We conducted a physical examination for Spirit at the Rescue Centre, and found no major external injuries. Although she seemed energetic, she had severe swelling in her abdominal muscles, regions with a dome-shaped carapace, protruding eyes, and prolapse of the cloaca.

Her X-rays confirmed pneumocoelom (gas in the body cavity) and distended gas-filled intestines. We gave her pain relief medications and fluids, but Spirit remained severely swollen around her shoulder, neck and back, indicating that she still had air in her body outside of her lungs. While we did try to drain the air from her body cavity, she quickly filled up again after she took some breaths, suggesting a possibility of lung tear. Since this is a serious condition, her prognosis looked grave and her condition remained unstable. Unfortunately, eight days later, Spirit passed away despite our team’s best efforts, as she was too unwell to pull through.


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

Turtle patient Kalo in the rescue centre tank. Image.

Kalo was placed in the sea cage at AMC in August and was seen attempting to dive. Recently, however, he has been brought back to the tanks, as the sea cage is currently under maintenance.