Luc Rescue Turtle

juvenile Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.112), admitted 04-May-17, safari boat, Maldives

Weight: 8.65kg (admission); 7.1kg (May 2017);

Length: 40.0cm (admission); 40.0cm (May 2017);

Luc was found by crew members from a cruising live aboard who spotted a mass of marine debris floating on the ocean surface. Upon further inspection, they found Luc along with two other turtles entangled in the heavy net. Thankfully, one individual was able to be released on site, however Boo and Luc were not as lucky.

The crew did fantastic work to extract them from their net and care for them while in transit to our Kuda Huraa facility. Once admitted, these two new patients were placed in fresh water baths overnight to help rehdrate them.

Luc is already gaining strength, being very active on the treatment table and in his recovery pool. This is all encouraging behaviour that he may respond quickly to his treatment plan. Luc’s overall body condition is relatively healthy with a good neck size and no signs of a sunken plastron. Luc, like Boo, suffered abrasions over all of his flippers and to half of his carapace. The most noticeable and severe injury is on his right front flipper which has left his bone exposed, however he is making use of it as he manoeuvres himself around the pool. Luc will remain at our centre until his flipper has completely healed and is able to feed and dive unsupervised.

May 2017
Luc has continued to receive daily wound care on his flippers, carapace and plastron. This has unfortunately left some exposed decayed bone. All scar tissue has been removed, but the healing process will be slow. We are unsure if he will be able to keep his right front flipper (RFF) as he is starting to use it less and less. Despite his active nature in the first weeks after admittance, he is very disinterested in food so we are giving daily fluids and calcium.

June 2017
Despite our best efforts to save his front flipper, the damage to his bone was too severe and Luc underwent surgery to remove it (on 8 June). The procedure was very straight forward and with the help of our on-site doctor we were able to complete it at our facility.
He is recovering well in the rehabilitation pool, looking more active and learning to manoeuvre himself as a new amputee. Although Luc’s road to recovery will be long, with the additional damage to his carapace and plastron, we are so encouraged by his active behaviour. He will continue to receive daily wound care and fluid therapy to promote active healing and help him regain some strength.

20 June 2017
After 48 days of care from our team, Luc unfortunately succumbed to his wounds and peacefully passed away on 20 June. Despite surviving his ordeal in the wild and successfully making it through surgery, Luc became very lethargic and consistently disinterested in food. We implemented a more assertive approach when feeding him to try and provide the nutrition his body so desperately needed, however these attempts were unable to help regain his much-needed strength.

Warning: graphic photos of Luc’s surgical operation

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