Head Start Programme

We currently have 21 sea turtles in our Head Start Programme, 4 Hawksbills and 17 Greens. All are now considered ‘post-hatchlings’ based on their size, and all are healthy and growing well. Cooler rainy weather can cause turtles to feel sleepy – check out these cute pictures of the hatchlings taking naps during our treatments !

Head Start green sea turtle “Eskimo” was released on 26 September at Vela Faru (N.Malé Atoll). Eskimo came to Kuda Huraa way back in August 2013 at about one month old. Most hatchlings take an average of 42 weeks to reach 30cm, however, Eskimo was very slow-growing, taking 109 weeks to reach the appropriate size and be ready for release.

Baby turtle taking a nap – 1 [KH.FB.09]-2

Nest Protection Programme

During September, the Hawksbill nest from 29 June successfully hatched, producing 126 baby turtles. These hatchlings were released into the deep water and strong currents between Voavah and Landaa Giraavaru, to limit the chances of predation by reef predators.

Green turtle hatchlings
Green turtle hatchlings
Green turtle hatchlings - release

Post-hatchling Green Turtles (RB.CM.007-020), admitted 07-Aug-15 from Maarikilu, Baa Atoll.

14 hatchlings arrived from the island of Maarikilu in very poor health, after being kept as pets in a shallow pool. All were suffering from the effects of over-crowding – bites and eye infections, and several were dehydrated and malnourished. Sadly, six hatchlings died.

The remaining eight hatchlings slowly gained weight and improved in health after a few weeks of care and a healthy diet. They were successfully released into open water close to the island of Dhonfan (Baa Atoll).

Huge adult male Green Turtle

On 27 September, we were alerted to a sea turtle in distress near the Kuda Huraa House Reef. The turtle was very large and without any visible external injuries, but it appeared lethargic and was not attempting to swim or dive beneath the waves.

With the assistance of our Dive Centre colleagues, the metre-long adult male Green sea turtle was brought to our recovery centre. Despite our best efforts, the magnificent 150kg turtle did not survive.

A necropsy was performed the next day, revealing the turtle was in good overall health, with abundant fat and muscle. Additionally, the turtle had ample amounts of seagrass in its digestive tract, including the oesophagus, indicating the turtle had recently eaten; no foreign material was found. There was, however, an excessive amount of gas in the colon, which could explain the positive buoyancy we had witnessed. The necropsy was inconclusive, but revealed the animal had taken water into the lungs, suggesting death was caused by drowning.

Huge adult male Green Turtle, stranded, rescue, Kuda Huraa Maldives
Huge adult male Green Turtle, stranded, rescue, Kuda Huraa Maldives