Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation
Our three Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) in rehabilitation at Kuda Huraa were rescued from entanglement in drifting ghost fishing nets.
Shareefa (LO.056) admitted 14-Feb-15 from Huvafen Fushi. Wound care continues once a week and calcium supplements have been added to her diet. The carapace is showing signs of hardening, however there are still several soft spots that need to heal before release will be considered.
Naseeb (LO.060) admitted 23-Mar-15 from Kuda Huraa. Naseeb’s amputation site has healed immensely in the last month; he is still positively buoyant and we are currently working with him to encourage diving and activity. Wound care has been decreased to twice a week to ensure it remains clean and to monitor progress.
Rex (LO.068) admitted 06-May-15 from Bandos. Rex arrived after being found stranded on the beach at Bandos. The turtle suffered a previous amputation of both front flippers and is unable to dive due to buoyancy issues. His plastron sores are being cleaned three times a week, and we have started a course of antibiotics.
Sadly, two of our Kuda Huraa rescue turtles recently died, due to health complications in their injuries caused by their prolonged ghost net entrapment.
Maria (LO.057) admitted 28-Feb-15 from Maalifushi; died 15-May-15.
Maria’s right rear flipper was amputated due to necrosis shortly after her arrival. She received daily wound care and antibiotics.
Maria initially responded very well to treatment, with all wounds healing well with scar tissue. Her appetite and activity were increasing, before lock-jaw developed along with a sudden decrease in activity/strength.
She was quickly removed from the pool and dry-docked to prevent drowning, however she did not respond to further treatment and sadly died on 15 May.
Nicoohiri (LO.069) admitted 08-May-15 from Maafushivaru; died 28-May-15.
Nicoohiri arrived with a badly damaged right front flipper that required amputation. He received wound care and antibiotics, along with daily fluids followed by tube feeding due to weight loss and dehydration.
Unfortunately, Nicoohiri did not respond well to treatment, becoming weaker over time before dying on 28 May.
Head Start Programme
During May, five hawksbill hatchlings arrived from Maalifushi (Thaa Atoll), bringing the total to twenty five turtles in our Head Start Programme [six clutches of Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and one Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata)]. All turtles continue to grow and gain weight each week. We have started feeding vegetables as part of their daily diet and continue to any treat eye infections when required (Cilplox eye drops, iodine baths).
Gaston (CM.078) arrived as a hatchling way back on 29 August 2014 with two additional siblings (both released in early March). Since arriving, the turtle has gained 3.2kg in weight and the straight carapace length has increased by 21.8cm (to 28.7cm). We decided to release Gaston on 8 June as part of World Ocean Day, and fitted a satellite transmitter to track its movements.
You can follow the travels of our turtles here on our 2 interactive maps.
Nest Protection Programme
Four nests hatched on the island of Fenfushi during May producing 380 hatchlings, 295 of which were released during our Baby Turtle Release experience. Guests met at our Centre at 09:30 for a brief presentation on the Nest Protection Programme before the 45 minute speed boat ride to Fenfushi. We met with the island’s caretakers for a tour, to see the nests remaining in situ and to meet the hatchlings before collection. The hatchlings were then released in the channel between Raa and Baa Atoll. Four nests remain on Fenfushi; all are due to hatch by the first week in July.
One new nest was laid on 8 May and no further nesting activity has been documented on Fenfushi. Although there is a lack of scientific data, the local knowledge tells us that nesting occurs during the drier months of the NE seasonal monsoon, which are more hospitable to egg incubation. Nests remaining on the beach into the SW monsoon period will likely be less successful due to:
- lower incubation temperatures (caused by rain and increased cloud cover),
- inundation by waves and storm surges,
- compacted sand caused by heavy rain (trapping the hatchlings in the sand).