NoonuRescue Turtle

adult female Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.239), admitted 23 April 2023, S.Malé Atoll, Maldives

Weight / Length: 24.0kg / 53.7cm (on admittance)

Noonu Olive Ridley sea turtle stranded Maldives (11) profile
On 23 April 2023, we admitted turtle patient Noonu, kindly sent by her rescuer Nunu, from Ozen Life Maadhoo (South Malé Atoll). She had been found washed up on the beach, entangled in a large mass of ghost netting that had likely drifted hundreds of kilometres from Indian waters.

Noonu arrived at Kuda Huraa’s turtle rescue centre exhibiting a deep laceration to her neck from prolonged entanglement, and severe injuries to three flippers (with exposed bone). She has started a course of Monocef antibiotics, and is receiving regular debriding and cleaning of her wounds. The lacerations are very deep, so surgery might be required to remove one rear flipper.

Noonu is a healthy weight (24kg) for her size (53.7 cm straight carapace length) and started eating immediately (prawns are a favourite!) She’s not showing any signs of stress and enjoys interacting with guests in her glass-fronted tank. We are closely monitoring her wound-healing progress.

Despite her injuries, Noonu has high energy levels and lots of curiosity, and is sitting quite low in the water (so no problems with buoyancy).

Noonu Olive Ridley sea turtle stranded Maldives (12) tank
Noonu Olive Ridley sea turtle stranded Maldives (13) health

May 2023 Updates

After the successful release of Emma, Noonu was moved to a larger tank with more space to swim around. She surprised us all by immediately diving in her new larger space! We started feeding her from the bottom of the pool, and she is enjoying resting in Emma’s old ‘cave’. Her wounds have also shown incredible healing progress in the short month that she was with us.

On 29 May, Noonu was transferred to our turtle treatment centre at Landaa Giraavaru (Maldives) via direct seaplane transfer. Our Kuda Huraa team are already missing her inquisitive personality, and wish her a speedy recovery.
Our experienced turtle veterinarian is resident at Landaaa, so Noonu is in the very best of hands for a surgical procedure on her back right flipper.

Noonu has settled in well to her new tank at Landaa. We have debrided (cleaned) her wounds to help a stimulate healing, and to give us a clear look at the current state of her injuries. The wound on her neck is in very good condition and almost fully healed. Her flipper wounds have a very long way to go, but show no signs of infection and she is capable of moving all four flippers.
Noonu is slightly positively buoyant but is capable of diving to the bottom of her tank for short periods.

NOONU turtle transfer to Landaa

certified VIP seaplane transfer

NOONU Turtle rehabilitation Maldives 2 May

Noonu’s flipper, 2 May

NOONU Turtle rehabilitation Maldives 21 May

Noonu’s flipper, 21 May

June

Noonu is making very good progress; the wound on her neck is now fully healed and her flipper wounds have all seen dramatic improvement, with no direct bone exposure remaining, although she is still missing significant amount of soft tissue on all three damaged flippers, especially the right hind.
On 6 June, we discovered bone sequestrum in the left fore-flipper during her regular wound check, so Noonu was put on a course of antibiotics. She remains capable of moving all four flippers and is still slightly positively buoyant, but she is able to sleep on the bottom of her tank for short periods and happily retrieves her food from the tank floor.

July

Noonu continues to make very good progress; her flipper wounds have all continued to improve, and now show only a small amount of exposed muscle and no bone exposure. She is still missing a significant volume of soft tissue on both her right flippers, while the wounds on her left fore-flipper are beginning to heal well. She remains capable of moving all four flippers, and has been observed sleeping on the bottom of her tank more frequently and for longer periods of time… a very positive sign!

August

Noonu has made significant progress this month; her right front flipper wound has completely healed, and her left front wound has only a small area of open damage remaining. The rear right wound has developed a sensitive pocket, and is still missing significant volumes of tissue on the front left.

Unfortunately Noonu developed an infection where her carapace was damaged; the overlying tissue has been removed and she is on a course of Monocef antibiotics. However, since the cleaning of her carapace, it seems to have improved even in the last 2 weeks. Noonu is no longer showing signs of positive buoyancy and is able to rest and sleep on the bottom of the tank at will.

September

Noonu has made significant progress this month; her left front wound has completely healed and the negative space has begun to fill in well. The rear right wound pocket has been healing very well, with only a shallow depression remaining. Noonu’s carapace damage has been slowly but steadily improving, and is now looking much improved since the initial debridement. Her energy levels are high, and  she appears to be mentally ready for release.

This month, our satellite tag has been shipped (kindly sponsored by a Resort guest) and we are awaiting delivery within the next few days. Our plan is to release Noonu next month, with the attached tag, and in the company of Resort guests and colleagues, as well as members of the local community.

October … release day! (22kg, 53.7cm)

Our turtle Noonu is back into the ocean, on a journey that will be satellite tracked!

Noonu, our adult female Olive Ridley turtle was found by fishermen tangled in ghost fishing nets back in April. She endured severe injuries in three of its flippers, shell damage, minor neck wounds, and a mild buoyancy syndrome.

After initial care at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, she was brought to Landaa Giraavaru’s Marine Discovery Centre for further rehabilitation.

Noonu was ready to go back home and a satellite tracking tag was placed on her shell to get some insight into her journey. Where will she go now? We will keep you updated, and you can follow her journey on our interactive map.

Safe travels Noonu!

Noonu’s Journey of 5,871 km !!

On 13 February 2024, after 115 days of deployment, Noonu’s satellite tag sent its final data transmission. We cannot know for certain why it stopped transmitting, but given the battery life of this model is listed as over 200 days by the manufacturer, it seems unlikely that this was the limiting factor. Perhaps the antenna was damaged or overgrown by algae, preventing further messages being sent. Perhaps the tag itself was dislodged from Noonu’s carapace, either through impact, decay of fixative material, or natural growth of the scutes, and has sunk to the seafloor. It is possible too of course that Noonu has died of unknown causes.

What we can be sure of however, is Noonu’s great success before the end in communication. She has travelled a grand total of 5,871 km, in almost an exact loop, with her final known location being south of, but roughly equidistant between Hithaadhoo and Thulhaadhoo here in Baa Atoll.

By looking at the route she took throughout her journey, it seems likely that Noonu was travelling in the same direction as the prevailing currents, first heading north-east towards India, then following the continental shelf south-east before getting caught up in the swirling currents between India and Sri Lanka. On her second attempt at heading further east, the monsoon likely shifted and Noonu instead got swept back west and slightly north into Maldives. We expect that if her tag had continued to transmit, we would have seen Noonu progress further west away from Maldives and towards the Arabian Sea.