ZahiyaRescue Turtle

Zahiya (RB.LO.011) admitted 26-Mar-12

Zahiya is our longest-term resident, an Olive Ridley turtle found floating near Landaa’s water villas way back in March 2012. The carapace was covered in algae and barnacles, indicating the turtle had been floating for quite a while resulting in malnourishment and weakness. Initial treatment for Zahiya included Metoclopramide to increase intestinal movement and an air tap was performed, however neither treatments have resolved the buoyancy (floating) issue.

She has a healthy appetite and has gained more than 6kg in weight since being rescued, but unfortunately her buoyancy syndrome has not improved. Zahiya stopped eating at the start of June 2013, perhaps due to the stress of being temporarily housed in a smaller pool. Force feeding was attempted without success, followed by injections of fluids over the course of 6 days (totals of 500ml dextrose plus 100ml Lactated Ringer’s) and some improvement was seen. Three weeks later, Zahiya began eating some squid and fish, and gradually returned to normal again.

Zahiya’s buoyancy problems continue, with low overall activity. We are encouraging swimming and diving during feedings and providing enrichment activities. In addition, eyesight in the right eye appears deficient. This eyesight deficiency paired with the positive buoyancy suggests Zahyia may have suffered an illness that resulted in neurological impairment. We do not have the expertise to treat Zahiya’s chronic health problems and house her permanently. We are communicating with international Centres about the possibility of an overseas transfer, where Zahiya could live out comfortably in a specialised aquarium.

During March (2016) Zahiya’s interest in food sharply decreased, although the turtle has maintained a healthy weight. We will be monitoring closely for any further changes in behaviour.

SpeciesOlive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)
Date of Admittance26 March 2012
LocationLandaa Giraavaru
IssuesPositive buoyancy, eyesight deficiency
TreatmentMultivitamin and calcium supplements
Length57.2cm SCL
Weight23.5kg (arrival) 27.2kg (current)
Olive Ridley Turtle rescued - Zahiya

The Flying Turtles

On 9 August 2016 our marine biology team proudly launched its newest Turtle Rehabilitation Programme, “The Flying Turtles”.

Four Olive Ridley turtles – KerryZahiyaLa Petite and Peggy – made Maldivian and European history as they travelled by plane from Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives to begin a new life in Europe.

This is the first time that live sea turtles have been flown overseas from the Maldives for conservation and research purposes, and we think they are the only Olive Ridley species actually living in Europe.

Our Flying Turtles : From Maldives to Europe - enjoy our indepth report, photos and videos.