Kuda Huraa Hatchlings – March
Hawksbill Turtle Hatchlings, EI.N009.038 to 041, hatched 9 March 2017, Kuda Huraa, Maldives
038 – Homer – 12g/4.0cm; 158g/10.1cm (July); 284g/12.4cm (Oct); 468g/14.6cm (Dec); 810g/18.2cm (Mar);
039 – Banana – 12g/4.0cm; 222g/11.6cm (July); 473g/14.2cm (Oct); 763g/17.1cm (Dec); 1.5kg/22.3cm (Mar);
040 – George – 11g/3.9cm; 264g/11.5cm (July); 398g/13.7cm (Oct); 542g/15.1cm (Dec); 1.0kg/20.1cm (Mar);
041 – Quasimodo – 11g/4.0cm; 166g/ 9.9cm (July); 208g/11.1cm (Oct); 264g/12.1cm (Dec); 476g/14.6cm (Mar);
These four newly hatched Hawksbill turtle hatchlings (EI.038-EI.041) were found on the beach by resort staff. Unfortunately, after excavation of the nest remains there were only 11 healthy hatchlings found in total, as most of the eggs had calcified within the first few days their development.
Seven of the hatchlings were released at first light the next morning, and the four smallest/weakest individuals have been admitted to our Head Start programme. We will care for these hatchlings until they grow to our target release size of 30cm/3+kg, when they will have a much better chance of survival in the wild.
Quasimodo is not like the other hatchlings, as he suffered facial disfigurement and the loss of one eye, most likely as a result of a natural defect during his development in the egg. We are pleased that, despite the loss of his upper beak, he is still able to open his mouth and take small pieces of food. We will be monitoring his condition closely to ensure he is able to feed with this disability. Unfortunately it is very hard to predict how this injury will affect his survival in the wild, without the use of a top beak he will find it challenging to scavenge for food hiding in the reef wall.
Quasimodo continues to be very active around his pool and shows continued interest in food, but his beak appears to be increasingly mis-shapen.
These hatchlings are very active and growing up quickly. They are all diving for fish and lobster (their favourite).
Quasimodo is very active and interested in food, although he is still having some problems caused by his misshaped beak so needs more time to eat a full ‘meal’.
These hatchlings are not so small anymore! They are gaining weight and increasingly active in the pool, with considerable interest in food and good diving ability.
Quasimodo is active and starting to eat for himself during his solitary feeding sessions. He persistently swims after dropped pieces of food but sometimes struggles to pick up the smaller pieces due to his beak deformity. He is increasing in weight and size, and he loves a good swim and spending some time at the bottom of the pool, but Quasi still has a long road ahead …
Quasimodo is gaining weight and strength, still being the smaller of his siblings; sharing the pool with Ethan, spends his days playing and diving around the pool.
29 August 2018 = Release of George & Homer
George had grown to 2.5kg in weight (27.4cm length) and Homer was a little smaller at 2.2kg/25.7cm. They were successfully released today (along with Rosie), quickly swimming away from our boat and down into the depths. We wish them a long and trouble-free life out on the Maldivian reefs! 🙂
Turtle Growth Rates – weight of the turtles (in grams) against time
Updates September 2018
Quasi has been in our care for 17 months now; he is still growing, and is active in our turtle recovery pool (which he shares with Pine Cone). Sadly, due to his deformation he is not able to feed as quickly as the other post-hatchlings. The deformation on his face hasn’t changed much, and he is adapting to swimming around and feeding on the bottom of the pool.
Quasi will stay in our care until he shows the ability to survive in the wild by himself; in the meantime, he is our official babysitter for all the new arrivals!