Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation
We have been busy these last few weeks here at Kuda Huraa, rescuing Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). These are found in drifting ghost fishing nets, carried we believe on ocean currents from neighbouring SE Asian countries. The rescued turtles often have cuts and lacerations to their flippers, with some wounds being so severe that we need to amputate. The animals are often also suffering from “bouyancy syndrome”, which means they remain floating on the water surface and are unable to dive down (for food). We hope that after a few days or weeks at our turtle rehabilitation centre, these animals have recovered sufficiently to be returned back to the ocean.
Shareefa (LO056) admitted 14/02/15 from Huvafen Fushi
Health report notes – lactulose has been discontinued. Wound care decreased to once a week to limit stress; flipper lacerations and carapace abrasions are cleaned and treated daily. Shareefa is now able to dive normally and rest on the bottom of the pool, and she will be ready for release once the carapace wound heals.
Maria (LO057) admitted 28/02/15 from Maalifushi
Health report notes – receiving antibiotics (Amikacin) and fluid therapy; wounds are treated daily, and the amputation site is cleaned with iodine and bandaged.
Maria is inactive and shows little interest in food. We have started to force feed daily, and will continue tube-feeding if necessary as she is losing weight. Her flipper lacerations are healing; remaining rear flipper is still swollen. Amputation site is slowly healing, although this will require long term care due to location and inability to close the wound site.
Buddy (LO058) admitted 10/03/15 from Club Med
Health report notes – No obvious injuries or cause of floatation, and no dehydration. Previous right front flipper amputation is old and healed. Buddy is very active and has a healthy appetite. We spotted a worm in the recovery pool, suggesting he has worms in his digestive tract (dose of de-wormer given 31 March). Daily Lactulose in diet; encourage diving. Applying Silveleb every other day, to a sore on the turtle’s nose.
Naseeb (LO060) admitted 23/03/15 from Kuda Huraa
Health report notes – received three doses of Ceftriaxone now continuing with Amikacin. Daily wound care of amputation site; flushing with saline, cleaning with Betadine, and applying honey. Will begin physical therapy to build strength.
Left front flipper was amputated on 24/03/2015 due to extensive maceration of the muscle and distal bones exposed caused by constriction by rope. Turtle is very active and has been seen diving on occasion.
Nest Protection Programme
A total of 357 green turtle hatchlings were released from the island of Fenfushi on 18 March, as part of our nest protection programme. Some local island communities are known to retrieve turtle eggs for sale and consumption, as part of their traditional way of life going back generations. In an attempt to give monetary value to the untouched turtle nests and eggs, our “Nest Protection Programme” offers to ‘buy back’ the turtle eggs with a view to allowing them to hatch undisturbed, and then we release the hatchlings safely out at sea.
If you know of any turtle nests or hatchlings, please get in touch with us – we may be able to help and advise for their protection and care, or we may pay to buy them back (for safe release).
Head Start Programme
We currently have twenty-one Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in our Head Start Programme, representing six different nest clutches. On 17 March, we received two hatchlings from Maalifushi, after being found on a nearby island.
CM.080 “Esme” and CM.079 “Wang” reached ‘graduation’ weight from the Programme this month, and were released into the ocean on 15/18th March, during the Turtle Safari excursions near to Makunadhoo. Both turtles had satellite transmitters to track their movements, and were observed to swim out of the atoll. Unfortunately, Esme’s satellite tag stopped transmitting on 18 March (possible reasons include: loss or malfunction of the tag, predation or human interaction). Wang’s tag continues to transmit, and he is currently swimming westerly, away from the Maldives; catch up with him via our interactive maps.
thanks Samantha, for editing the video together