ZahiyaRescue Turtle

Zahiya (RB.LO.011) admitted 26-Mar-12

Zahiya is our longest-term resident, an Olive Ridley turtle found floating near Landaa’s water villas way back in March 2012. The carapace was covered in algae and barnacles, indicating the turtle had been floating for quite a while resulting in malnourishment and weakness. Initial treatment for Zahiya included Metoclopramide to increase intestinal movement and an air tap was performed, however neither treatments have resolved the buoyancy (floating) issue.

She has a healthy appetite and has gained more than 6kg in weight since being rescued, but unfortunately her buoyancy syndrome has not improved. Zahiya stopped eating at the start of June 2013, perhaps due to the stress of being temporarily housed in a smaller pool. Force feeding was attempted without success, followed by injections of fluids over the course of 6 days (totals of 500ml dextrose plus 100ml Lactated Ringer’s) and some improvement was seen. Three weeks later, Zahiya began eating some squid and fish, and gradually returned to normal again.

Zahiya’s buoyancy problems continue, with low overall activity. We are encouraging swimming and diving during feedings and providing enrichment activities. In addition, eyesight in the right eye appears deficient. This eyesight deficiency paired with the positive buoyancy suggests Zahyia may have suffered an illness that resulted in neurological impairment. We do not have the expertise to treat Zahiya’s chronic health problems and house her permanently. We are communicating with international Centres about the possibility of an overseas transfer, where Zahiya could live out comfortably in a specialised aquarium.

During March (2016) Zahiya’s interest in food sharply decreased, although the turtle has maintained a healthy weight. We will be monitoring closely for any further changes in behaviour.

Name Zahiya
Sex Juvenile
Species Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)
Date of Admittance 26 March 2012
Location Landaa Giraavaru
Issues Positive buoyancy, eyesight deficiency
Diet
Treatment Multivitamin and calcium supplements
Length 57.2cm SCL
Weight 23.5kg (arrival) 27.2kg (current)
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