It's been a while since the last update on the turtles in the Two Oceans Aquarium's rehabilitation and release centre - let's take a look at how our carapaced comrades are recovering.
Little hatchling #31 is one of last year's loggerhead turtle hatchlings that we were not confident enough to release, so he won't be following Yoshi's journey just yet. #31 is receiving physiotherapy (massages and being made to walk on soft sand) to try to strengthen his back right and front right flippers. He seems able to use all his flippers fully when diving, but has displayed problems when on land, so we are erring on the side of caution.
An MRI is scheduled for #31, which we hope will reveal the cause of his flipper preference.
Newcomer Koda is doing very well after being rescued at Eskom Koeberg Nature Reserve on 31 January 2018. Koda arrived at the Aquarium covered in goose barnacles. This particular barnacle species, Lepas testudinata, is often attached to floating plastic debris, and it has been suggested that Koda may be the first turtle recorded with them attached.
Koda is incredibly strong and is already eating voraciously. Koda has already pooped out quite a bit of plastic that she consumed while at sea.
Nanuk's carapace has been healing well since her rescue at Koeberg Nature Reserve last November. However, last week she needed flipper surgery for an underlying issue. It has taken a while to recover from this, but Nanuk is healing well and we are cautiously optimistic. Nanuk has mellowed out a bit, loving it when we treat her with daily shell cleaning and eagerly looks forward to feeding time.
Moya has recovered well since his rescue at Cola Beach in October. The large wound on Moya's flipper is healing well, and we are optimistic that there should not be any permanent damage. He has become a very curious turtle, always coming to the edge of the enclosure say hi when someone walks past. Moya is an active feeder and has become very good at pulling white mussels out of the shell and responds well to the feeding target.
Moya got to travel all over Cape Town to get some high-tech checkups!
Bob & Sandy:
Bob and Sandy are both doing very well, aside from the long-term recovery of their ailments. The propellor gash in Sandy's carapace is healing well, but is still at risk of infection - she will need to heal a bit more before her release.
Bob is still his usual friendly self. Bob's eyesight has not yet recovered from the neurological damage he suffered as a result of eating plastic. We are continuing to assess his health with hopes that he will recover to a point where he can have a reasonable chance of survival in the wild once again. Unlike Sandy, we are still uncertain what Bob's sex is.