Seakid Rescue Turtle

male Olive Ridley turtle (RB.LO.235), admitted 11 January 2023, N.Malé Atoll, Maldives

Weight / Length: 21.6kg / 56.4cm (on admittance);

 

Seakid was found floating on the ocean surface by the marine biologist and dive team at OBLU Helengeli (thanks, guys). On 11 January, he was brought to our Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at Kuda Huraa for treatment – our first patient of 2023’s “turtle stranding season” (caused by the seasonal monsoon winds and ocean currents).

Seakid still has all four flippers intact, but the presence of lacerations indicates see he was likely entangled in a discarded fishing net. Sadly, he is the most buoyant turtle we have seen, and is almost sitting on the top of the water, with almost none of the carapace being below the water line.
Stress caused from the buoyancy syndrome has reduced Seakid’s appetite; he will bite food but spits most of it out, and uses the front flippers to push away any food offered, even live crabs. He shows disinterest to anything that is put in the tank, even when sharing a pool with Ari for a few days. We hope he starts responding to different foods soon.

Note that although Seakid has a tail, it’s not as large as we typically see, but we do still think he’s male.

SEAKID injured Olive Ridley sea turtle - transport box
SEAKID injured Olive Ridley sea turtle - injured flipper
SEAKID injured Olive Ridley sea turtle - underside
SEAKID injured Olive Ridley sea turtle - facial profile

February Updates

Seakid is in a glass tank on his own and shyly spends time in the shaded area away from visitors. But good news… he has now started eating! After arrival he only ate prawns, but now also enjoys squid. His front flipper wounds have healed completely, but buoyancy is still a huge problem.

Seakid seems calmer and less stressed, and now that he is eating and gaining weight, we will start a buoyancy training program in March.

March

Seakid’s relationship with food has improved dramatically; he is now very enthusiastic during feeding time, constantly trying to push himself underwater, and his buoyancy is improving as a result.
An attempt at weighted-feeding was made, however, he prefers to bite the rope. He also developed a new bump on his nose, which is being successfully treated with ‘Megaheal’. With Michelangela’s release next month, Seakid will get a pool upgrade, meaning more space to practice his diving.

April

Seakid has been moved to a bigger tank and has made great progress this month with his buoyancy. He can now reach the bottom of the tank when encouraged with food, however, he then floats back to the surface. Even without food, when feeling energetic, he will spend his time practising diving to the bottom of this tank.
As soon as he is able to comfortably rest on the bottom of the tank, Seakid should be ready for release.

Olive ridley turtle rescue SEAKID Maldives

May Updates

Seakid has been moved to a bigger tank and has made great progress this month with his buoyancy. He now eats all his food from the bottom of the pool, and is now resting there for increasingly longer periods of time. We hope he will soon be ready for release!

23 June 2023 … Release Day!

Follow Seakid’s journey on our satellite tracking map!

SEAKID turtle release day Maldives satellite
SEAKID turtle release day Maldives satellite

Today was an exciting day for Seakid! He was released from the beach @fsmaldives Kuda Huraa with plenty of fans to see him off.

Seakid has been a patient with us since January when he was found floating by @oblunaturehelengeli and brought to us for buoyancy syndrome treatment.

As a male Olive Ridley turtle he was quite surprised by the sand but quickly took off for the water. Seakid was given a satellite tracker so we can track his journey into the big blue. An hour after his release we received a ping that showed he had already left the atoll and made his way into deeper waters.

Hopefully, he continues to transmit vital data. Allowing us to better identify areas in need of protection for himself and the rest of his species.

Good luck Seakid!

📸: @_t.askeen @charlie.marineb @hatch.hailey

Everything went smooooth with SeaKid’s release today! This young Olive Ridley Turtle was very happy to see the open ocean again after recovering from his Buoyancy Syndrome.

The satellite tracker that we installed on his carapace has already informed the team that our boy is already out in the open ocean after bravely venturing to the boundary of North Malé Atoll.

We can’t wait to see where he will end up spending the rest of his life. Have fun SeaKid! ❤️

🎥 @hatch.hailey @shona_corin_moore