female Hawksbill turtle (RB.EI.041), admitted 24 May 2021, Velaa, Noonu Atoll, Maldives
Weight / Length: 22.0kg / 59.0cm (on admittance);
Artemis is a fully grown female Hawksbill turtle, rescued by our colleagues at Velaa Private Island (Noonu Atoll). She was unable to dive, and had a large amount of algae and barnacles on her shell, indicating she’d been floating on the ocean surface for a long time.
Artemis arrived at our turtle rescue centre at Landaa Giraavaru in a very weak condition; she was dehydrated and presented a badly injured front flipper (likely from prolonged entanglement in a ghost fishing net).
Artemis was cleaned of all epibiota and placed in a freshwater bath for rehydration. She was started on antibiotics and we tended her wounds. Despite the swelling and severe lacerations, she is starting to use her flipper, which hopefully means we can still save it and avoid amputation. It will be a long recovery, but we hope she can one day be returned back to the ocean where she belongs!
Artemis finished her course of antibiotics, and continues with frequent wound debridement and cleaning. Only one big wound remains in the cranial aspect of her right front flipper; as soon as it heals, we can start physical therapy to recover her strength.
She has a very healthy appetite and attempts diving constantly. She was transferred to one of our larger white tanks to encourage diving by placing food at the bottom.
Artemis continues to make steady progress. The wound on her right front flipper is nearly healed, and she’s using the flipper more and more; it will take time to recover the natural movement since she lost most of the cranial musculature, but it’s improving.
She’s actively trying to dive and has now reached the bottom of the white tank. She was transferred to a deeper tank to allow additional exercise, and she’ll be transferred to the ocean enclosure as soon as it becomes available.