juvenile Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.173), admitted 9 April 2019, Joali resort, Raa Atoll, Maldives
Weight / Length: 6.3kg / 36.8cm (on admission); 6.5kg / 37.0cm (Oct-19);
April was admitted to our Centre on 9 April. She had been found floating on the ocean surface, entangled in an empty rice bag, by the marine biologist at Joali resort, Muravandhoo island (Raa Atoll).
April’s right front flipper was already missing and her left front flipper had a wound where the rice bag was cutting into her skin. A series of X-rays also revealed a lung infection and probable lung tears, explaining her buoyancy.
April is very active and has a healthy appetite. Her flipper wound will heal over time and we are administering antibiotics for the lung infection. Once she gets rid of her buoyancy problems, April will hopefully be able to go back to the big blue!
Updates May 2019
April’s flipper wound has successfully healed and she has recovered from her lung infection.
We hoped a visit to the ORP vet would help to remove the air that’s trapped underneath her carapace. Unfortunately, the operation did not seem to improve her symptoms, as she remains buoyant and unable to dive below the water surface. However, she is otherwise healthy and very active, with a big appetite. She is currently enjoying the newly renovated pool.
April still remains extremely buoyant since the attempted air removal at the vet, however she is swimming happily in her pool and feeding well. She was taken for her first ocean swim in the lagoon alongside Varu (below).
Updates January 2020
As recommended by a vet, April started receiving topical treatment of Gentian Violet (antiseptic dye) for her skin infection as betadine + colloidal silver was not working. She receives the dye every 3 days, as it is water resistant and stays on for a long time.
We have observed a possible infection on April’s plastron (underside), so we have started treatment and regular monitoring.
April is healthy, active and has a good appetite, but is still suffering from turtle buoyancy syndrome.
April had a small ulcer on the plastron but this has now healed. She is otherwise healthy, apart from being unable to dive down below the water surface.
April remains stable; her buoyancy syndrome persists, but she has a healthy appetite and tries very hard to dive down below the water surface on her daily exercises. This month, she got to enjoy some fish ‘ice-popsicles’ as environmental enrichment.
April interacting with ‘environmental enrichment devices’ (EEDs) or turtle toys, to stimulate curiosity and new activities, as part of our recent experimentation to refine the rehabilitation process.