juvenile Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.107), admitted 03-Mar-17, Noonu Atoll, Maldives
Length: 46.4cm (on admission); 46.4cm (May 2017);
Weight: 10.5kg (on admission); 11.7kg (May 2017);
This turtle was found floating on 2 March 2017, entangled in a fishing net along with FIVE other turtles (four Olive Ridleys and one juvenile Hawksbill).
This group of animals were incredible lucky to have been found when they were. Thanks to the staff at Dhigufaru Resort (Noonu Atoll) these turtles were freed from the mass of ghost netting and marine debris that was wound tightly around them. It is very hard to determine how long they had been floating, however most of the rescued individuals had suffered major wounds and were in desperate need of medical attention.
Due to the severity of the injuries and overall body condition of the turtles, none of the individuals were able to be released on site. Whilst transport to our facility was organized they were held overnight on a local island, unfortunately the largest Olive Ridley succumbed to his wounds during this first 24 hours of recovery.
Max (along with Julie, Susy, Bones and Poppy) successfully made it to our centre at Kuda Huraa, where they are now receiving treatment. Thankfully, the wounds sustained by this turtle are mostly superficial and are easily treatable through consistent wound-care practices. Max will be eligible to return back to the ocean once the team has given him a clean bill of health.
Max is very active, especially during feeding time and is slowly putting on weight. Unfortunately his diving is not improving.
Max has now been moved to a larger pool to further encourage activity. He made his first successful attempt to dive in mid-May, and has continued to gain strength. During feeding times, we encourage him to remain underwater throughout the feed by throwing pieces of food in front of him to create a trail; thankfully, he is very motivated by food! Despite this progress, he doesn’t make any attempts to dive out of feeding times and has not been seen resting on the pool bottom.
Of the four surviving turtles, Max is the last to return back to his ocean home. We have been amazed by his transformation in this short time; turning from a very emaciated and weak turtle into the feisty juvenile we know now! In the past weeks, Max made huge improvements in his strength and buoyancy, quickly re-learning his diving skills and becoming more comfortable feeding.
He has now been successfully released back into the wild, and showed no hesitation in swimming off to explore the coral reefs!