adult female Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.224), admitted 17 June 2021, Reethi Beach, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Weight / Length: 34.0kg / 65.1cm (on admittance);
Oevaali was found floating in the lagoon at Reethi Beach (Baa Atoll) entangled in a rice bag, with fishing lines and ropes around one of her flippers. Luckily, she was plucked from the ocean and brought to us by our colleagues from Manta Trust (and thanks for the photos, guys!)
Oevaali arrived at our turtle rescue centre at Landaa Giraavaru with dehydration, some lacerations and a very swollen flipper caused by the entanglement and subsequent constriction. Fortunately, most of her wounds are already healing, and overall she’s healthy and strong (and very large, at 34kg!)
At the moment, Oevaali is suffering from turtle buoyancy syndrome and is unable to dive below the water surface in her recovery pool. We hope that our rehabilitation exercise programme will help her to start diving again, for a speedy return back to the ocean.
Most of Oevaali’s wounds are already healed, and she continues to be active and energetic. However, she is still suffering from buoyancy syndrome and is not eating consistently. Thankfully, her strength is increasing, and she is slowly gaining weight.
Oevaali’s wounds have healed completely, and now she’s eating consistently. She’s gaining weight and strength every day.
Despite not moving her left front flipper very much, she is actively swimming and sitting lower in the water. We are continuing with physical therapy, to help her regain full range of motion in her injured flipper.
On 15 August, Oevaali was transferred out to our large lagoon enclosure. At first, her diving was near-vertical, but over the next 2 weeks she has began improving (more steady, more horizontal). However, she’s still only diving to retrieve food, and as soon as she catches it, she stops moving her flippers and floats back up to the water surface. Due to turtle buoyancy syndrome, it’s obviously still quite an effort for her to dive down and remain submerged, so we haven’t yet observed her resting on the bottom netting.
13 September … Release Day !
After 3 months of care and rehabilitation, Oevaali overcame her turtle buoyancy and was able to rest on the bottom of the enclosure, indicating she was ready for release!
She was successfully released in front of the Marine Discovery Centre on 13 September, in front of a small gathering of guests and staff. Measuring 65cm in length and weighing 40kg, she’s the largest patient we have ever cared for! Good luck, Big Mamma! 💚