female Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.222), admitted 25 April 2021, Nautilus Resort, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Weight / Length: 13.0kg / 50.0cm (on admittance);
Luna, an adult female Olive Ridley sea turtle, was found floating on the sea surface during a guest boat trip from Nautilus Resort (in Baa Atoll, Maldives).
On admittance to our turtle rescue centre at Landaa Giraavaru, our resident turtle veterinarian gave Luna a full body inspection and health check-up. Luna was found to have scars on her shell and flippers, suggesting prior entanglement in a ghost net. She was also covered in a thick layer of algae, suggesting she had been floating for a long period of time. She was cleaned of algae and given a fresh water bath and fluids to correct her hydration.
Luna arrived with severe dehydration but no other fresh injuries. She is underweight and suffering from buoyancy syndrome, meaning she’s unable to dive below the water surface (her carapace is above the water surface, with the lateral marginal scutes underwater).
We are continuing to care for Luna, giving appropriate treatments under close supervision. We plan to transfer her to our ocean enclosure, to encourage diving behaviour.
Luna’s condition hasn’t improved much since her arrival; she is still underweight and suffering from buoyancy syndrome. She had a course of antibiotics and fluids to correct her hydration status and treat any potential infections, but no clinical improvement was noted.
Luna remains active but has not been eating consistently; whenever her appetite is lacking, we force-feed her foods to ensure adequate calorie intake.
Sadly, Luna was found dead on the morning of 4 July. 🙁 As she had completed a double prolonged scheme of antibiotics, her health must have been very poor when she arrived at our Centre.
The subsequent necropsy revealed a severe chronic coelomitis affecting all organs, and collapsed lungs with discontinuous pleura. Abundant yellow fluid was present in the coelomic cavity, with caseous material adhered to visceral and parietal peritoneum.