adult female Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.237), admitted 23 January 2023, Vaavu Atoll, Maldives
Weight / Length: 24.8kg / 66.0cm (on admittance);
Mora arrived at our Turtle Rescue Centre (at Kuda Huraa) on 23 January 2023, from the local island of Thinadhoo (Vaavu Atoll). She was found by Christian from Maldives Sunset Guesthouse and was transferred to us by speedboat.
On admission to our Centre, we discovered that Mora was badly injured from prolonged entanglement in a ghost net (discarded fishing gear); the rescue team had even removed a hook from her mouth. She was severely dehydrated, and her back right and front left flippers had deep lacerations from the net.
We placed Mora into a freshwater bath for rehydration, given fluid therapy via IV-drip, and started on a course of antibiotics.
Mora’s rear right flipper had no movement, suffered deep lacerations, and was only attached by a few inches of tissue. The front left flipper had movement but also suffered from a deep laceration and was very weak. We debrided her wounds under local anesthetic.
On 25 January, we transferred Mora to our Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at Landaa Giraavaru (Maldives) for essential flipper surgery and specialised after-care by our resident veterinarian Dr Katrina.
Surgical amputation of Mora’s right hind flipper was a success, and she is now in recovery with close monitoring.
In addition to the deep cut on her front left flipper, she is also extremely thin, having struggled to feed whilst being entangled. She is now receiving special care to give her the best chance of recovery.
5 February Update
Sadly this morning, Mora was found deceased. On post-mortem examination, a large piece of plastic was found lodged in her oesophagus. It is likely this was eaten whilst she was entangled and unable to find food, however, once lodged the plastic prevented her from eating properly, which ultimately resulted in her emaciated state on arrival.
In addition, Mora’s lungs were extensively damaged, along with severe and extensive secondary pneumonia. Her death likely resulted from her inability to eat, and the ongoing infection, exacerbated by stress and her physical injuries.