Artemis Rescue Turtle

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 stranded Hawksbill turtle rescue Maldives
Artemis stranded Hawksbill turtle rescue Maldives
Artemis stranded Hawksbill turtle rescue Maldives
Artemis stranded Hawksbill turtle rescue Maldives
Artemis stranded Hawksbill turtle rescue Maldives

July

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.

August

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.

Artemis flipper healing Maldives turtle rescue rehabilitation centre

September

Artemis continues to make steady progress. The wound on her right front flipper is now completely healed, and she’s using it more, although it will take time to return to full natural movement (as most of the cranial musculature is lost). She’s actively trying to dive, and can reach the bottom of her pool; she’s still very vertical when diving, but we are hopeful that with exercise and patience, she will be able to dive properly again.
We may transfer Artemis out to our ocean enclosure in the coming weeks, to give more space and freedom to swim and dive, to aid her rehabilitation.

Artemis turtle rescue rehabilitation centre Maldives
Artemis turtle rescue rehabilitation centre Maldives

November

Artemis continues to make steady progress. All her wounds have now healed; she is regaining some flipper musculature, which is promising.
Artemis is actively trying to dive, and can reach the bottom of the pool, but her caudal end is still very buoyant.

December

During the last month, Artemis has become very picky over her food. She eats lobster and prawns without trouble, but with fish she will only occasionally eat the dark muscle. There has not been any change in her weight, and she’s still very active. When the ocean enclosure is up and running again, she will be the first patient to enjoy it.

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