Entangled Turtle “Emily” Rescued from our Lagoon

On 25 February, we were alerted by guests Dr & Mrs Kapoor that a small turtle was entangled in a discarded fishing net in front of one of the villas here at Landaa. The guests then helped to rescue the small Hawksbill turtle, which we named “Emily”, and brought her to the rehabilitation centre to assess any injuries. She appeared emaciated but otherwise no injuries were found. We fed her with prawns and squid so that she could regain some strength. Happily, Emily was ready for release just 2 days later, so on 27 February she was returned back to the ocean – an event enjoyed by some 40 guests.

Hawksbill turtle 'Emily' ...... freed from this net

Hand-reared turtles released at Kuda Huraa

Two Kuda Huraa hand-reared turtles were released in February, as part of the marine life safari excursions at Kuda Huraa’s coral gardens. One Green Turtle and one Hawksbill were released on separate excursions and lucky guests had the opportunity to see this first hand. Upon release, both turtles became quickly familiar with their surroundings and swam energetically towards the nearby reef. We hope to spot these newly freed animals in their natural habitats on future trips. A third turtle (Green) was released privately at the coral gardens by our MDC staff.

Nest Protection Program

This month we have been monitoring a Hawksbill nest on the beach of the uninhabited island of Voavah, Baa Atoll. The nest was found on the SE side of the island on 19 January, and we started monitoring it regularly. Due to the timings and logistics of visiting the uninhabited island, we only managed to recover two live hatchlings from the nest and are optimistic that the remainder made their way safely down the beach into the sea.
These two hatchlings were kept in sand for the remainder of the day, and sent via seaplane to Kuda Huraa on the 25 January. They are now residing in Kuda Huraa’s turtle pools and have settled in well. Weighing just 16 grams on arrival, the hatchlings will stay at Kuda Huraa as part of our rearing program, to be released when they grow to 30cm in carapace length.

Hawksbill turtle nesting site in VoavahHawksbill turtle hatchlings being measured

Current Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Residents – Recap

Zahiya” is a mature female Olive Ridley that was found floating near the water villas in March. Zahiya has gained more than 6 kg in weight, however, her floating syndrome has not improved so she will not be able to be released any time soon. We also believe that she is either blind or suffering from a neurological problem.

Elisa” is a juvenile Olive Ridley turtle found on September 29th 2012 drifting in between Kudarikilu and Landaa’s sandbank. Elisa is missing her front left flipper and has a very swollen (possibly previously broken) right front flipper. We are still working to resolve her buoyancy problems, and as her swimming has improved this month, a future release looks promising.

Bobita” joined us from Kuda Huraa in November. She was found on August 3rd 2012 floating near Kandooma in South Male atoll. Unfortunately, her floating syndrome has improved only slightly although she is trying very hard to dive after food. A future release is possible.

Uno” was found on December 20th 2012, by Kihaadhoo islanders who called us to help. Unfortunately the turtle was missing both back flippers and had a wound to one front flipper so severe that we had to amputate it upon its arrival. With only one flipper remaining, Uno can never be released back into the wild.