October 2022 Turtle Updates
Cora Cora corporate sponsorship
Above: The Cora Cora Maldives executive team and Cora Cora's owner and general manager with their sponsor turtle Cora while on a visit to the centre.
We are excited to announce that Cora Cora Maldives have decided to corporately sponsor one of our male Olive Ridley sea turtles, Cora! Since rescuing Cora from within Raa atoll in August, Cora Cora Maldives have been extremely involved in his rehabilitation process, so much so that they have become Cora's corporate sponsor. This means that they will be the sole financial contributors of Cora's daily care. We are so thankful for the relationship we have developed with Cora Cora Maldives and their positive response to the work of AMC. We are looking forward to working with them on exciting projects in the near future and hope that it encourages other resorts within the Maldives to become more involved with marine conservation so that we can all work together to protect and conserve the pristine environment of the Maldives.
Hatchling Admissions and Releases
This month we released 6 hatchlings!
Once again we had local families surrender their green sea turtle hatchlings to the centre. This is a recurring issue here on Naifaru, as nests on uninhabited islands are extremely difficult to patrol, therefore poaching of nests is extremely common.Our continued engagement with the community has proven to be beneficial as many families have surrendered their hatchlings within days of receiving them as gifts or presents. We are very thankful for our relationship with the community and their positive response to our centre. We hope that with continued support, this practice will become a thing of the past.
MB intern's Dua and Anum, weighing and measuring
hatchlings before release.
Over the last few weeks we have placed a weighted jacket on Olga. This jacket will hopefully alleviate some of the effort she has to expend to dive deeper in the water column. Many other admissions have had their buoyancy issues resolved with the use of the weight jacket and we hope that it has the same effect on Olga. The weight jacket was trialed on Olga on one of her sea swims this month however proved to be too difficult for her to successfully swim against current. Now the weather is calmer we will endeavour to take Olga out repeatedly so that she becomes accustomed to diving deeper.
Tom has been enjoying his time in the biggest tank in the centre this month, where he has lots of room to move and build up his strength, which is also increased on regular sea swims. We have continued to feed him using a feeding enrichment tool, to which he has continued to dive for his tuna at a depth of 29cm. We have also begun freezing bits of tuna in water, so that he can enjoy a tasty tuna ice block on hot days.
Hope has become accustomed to all of the enrichment tools we have made her and easily is able to find how to obtain her food from the various puzzles within minutes. For this reason, next month we will work on some more challenging enrichment tools for her since she is such a clever, agile turtle! With the temperature increasing in the Maldives we have started to freeze both seagrass and watermelon rinds for Hope so she is getting her daily
doses of Vitamin A and C!
We have introduced new enrichment toys into biscuits tank, which he has responded very well to. Despite being a triple amputee, Biscuit is one of the most active and agile turtles in the centre. Biscuit really enjoys the stimulation of the various textures and objects that we have been introducing into his enclosure lately. Some of these include a scrubbing brush cleaning station at the bottom of his tank, a new large tunnel for him to swim through and a floating square which he can be seen floating through. Biscuit has also enjoyed some cuttlefish bones for extra calcium which our volunteers have collected from the beach!
We have trialled different feeding enrichment tools with Donatello this month. As he is such an excellent diver, we
have tried to make feeding time a bit more difficult so that he has to expend more energy in order to get a reward. However he is very food motivated and incredibly intelligent, so it doesn't take him long to figure out how to retrieve his food from the enrichment tools! For added varieties and stimulation, this month Donny has received cuttlefish bones as well as frozen seagrass and frozen water melon rinds to keep him occupied and to increase increase his calcium and vitamin A and C levels.
This month we introduced shrimp into Cora's diet since he is also very partial to crabs. All turtles have their own personalities and favourite meals and so far Cora has not seemed to not enjoy mussels, squid or tuna! We are slowly introducing all of these to him incase he decides to change his mind one day! Cora has enjoyed sea swims this month with the beautiful weather as well as cuttlefish bones from the beach. Cora was lucky enough to have his sole financial sponsors visit this month: Cora Cora Maldives! Cora Cora are extremely passionate about Cora's care and we are so thankful he has such a supportive sponsor for his rehab journey.