Nocawe, or just "Noci", is a large loggerhead turtle that has spent a few weeks recovering at the Aquarium's sea turtle rehabilitation centre and has regained much strength since its rescue. It's time to stretch those flippers - Noci will be living in the I&J Ocean Exhibit for the near-future!
Curious about Nocawe's rescue story? You won't be disappointed!
Nocawe gave us quite a surprise - during an ultrasound to inspect "her" health, we learned that Noci is probably a boy! We are never 100% sure when determining a turtle's sex, but there are three strong indications that Noci is a male:
- Nocawe has a long tail, usually a sign of reproductive maturity in male loggerheads.
- An ultrasonogram identified a structure that is probably Noci's epididymis (part of the male reproductive system).
- Our veterinarian also noted a soft region in the centre of Noci's plastron. Initially a cause for concern, recent findings suggest that this is an indication of sexual maturity in males.
Noci is a big turtle, weighing 65kg, so we have decided to move him out of the small rehabilitation centre tanks as soon as possible. He has responded well to treatment, so we have moved him into the I&J Ocean Exhibit to finish his recovery and get some exercise before being returned to the wild.
During treatment, we identified some internal tissue damage and infection. It was very difficult to determine the exact nature of the internal damage from X-rays and ultrasounds, but Nocawe responded well to antibiotics and some supportive care.
Noci also pooped out plastic pollution - not enough for us to think that this was the cause of his internal injuries. Interestingly, the writing on the plastic was all in an Oriental language.
He had no major external injuries other than some superficial holes bored in his shell by barnacles. These barnacles have all been removed and the wounds on his carapace have been treated.
If Nocawe's rehabilitation continues without any unforeseeable problems, we hope to release Nocawe towards the end of the year at the same time as the rehabilitated loggerhead turtle hatchlings.