Our Unique Patients

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Tarta Spacca

Tarta Spacca arrived during the Summer of 2021. She had an extremely damaged carapace, which we believe to have been caused by a boat propellor. She arrived at our centre from the First Aid Centre of Filicudi, where unfortunately they were not able to treat her injury correctly. She had a very large build-up of tough scar tissue around her neck and front flippers, caused by a bad reaction to incorrect medications administered by the aquarium. Initially, this limited her ability to swim, however, the mass is slowly being reabsorbed and her range of movement is improving! 

In November 2021, Tarta Spacca underwent surgery performed by Professor Antonio Di Bello (Dept. Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari) to remove the build-up of infected tissue from her wound. Before this, we were very worried as Tarta showed little interest in eating and she had begun to lose weight. Following her surgery, she quickly regained her appetite and she now eats the most out of any of our patients!

This turtle has a way to go in her recovery and she still requires regular medical visits to remove any build-up of dead tissue from her wound, however, we can see her improving steadily. We are happy with her improvements and she is growing stronger (and more hungry) every day!



Stats:
Species: Caretta Caretta
Age: 8-10 Years Old
Weight: 29.75 kg
Length: 56.2 cm

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Hope 

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Hope arrived in October 2021 following an amazing rescue by the Colonel Commander of the Provincial Carabinieri of Agrigento. Upon arrival, X-rays revealed that she had a broken humerus in her front left flipper and a large Japanese fishing hook lodged in her oesophagus attached to a thick fishing line. Both have since been surgically removed.  Following her hook removal surgery, we were concerned as she did not show much interest in eating. However, we are now pleased to say that she is showing a great improvement and is almost ready for release. She is eating again, is gaining weight steadily (now at a strong 31.85kg), and is a very strong swimmer (particularly given her flipper injury).

STATS

Species: Caretta Caretta

Age: 8-10 years

Weight: 31.85 kg

Length: 57 cm



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Homerus 

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Our permanent female resident, Homerus was delivered to our center in 2008 by a fisherman who caught her in his net in Marsala. She suffered from a shattered humorous bone in her flipper, undernourishment  and paralysis in her back flippers probably due to a boat impact. Sadly, X-rays showed that the bone would never heal properly, which impeded her from capturing prey.


She was constantly developing strength and became a symbol for educating people on new threats to sea turtles. She was also studied by veterinarians in order to develop new orthopedic techniques for her particular neurological condition. She was taken to the clear waters of Lampedusa to practice swimming in her natural environment – free among sea grasses and surrounded by fish. Finally after years of work, on  a very happy  26th of October  in 2016 she was released with a tracker: we were able to follow her for more than 200 days, where we could see she showed natural behaviours and swam more than 3600km!

STATS

Species: Caretta Caretta

Age: 30 years

Weight: 36 kg

Length: 65 cm

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Tarta-box

Tarta-box is a unique member of our turtle family. She was hit by the stern of a boat and arrived to our center in July of 2012. She was found on a beach probably nesting, with her lungs protruding from her shell. To prevent salt water from entering her lungs while allowing surgical procedures, a box was attached to her exterior. This was done to ensure that she would have a safe recovery. After months of waiting for her membrane to thicken, in October 2012, she was finally released to her native environment.

STATS

Species: Caretta Caretta

Age: 30 years

Weight: 44 kg

Length: 73.3 cm

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Tarta-tilt

This special member of our turtle family was brought to our center from the surrounding waters of Lampedusa in October of 2012 by local fisherman. She suffered from an inner ear infection probably due to air gun surveys or a collision. She could not swim properly due to imbalance. She had a tendency to swim in circles - we kept her in the dark until her infection began to improve and we could start to increase the water level. Little by little she began to swim better and the water level was increased to a full tank. Finally in the summer of 2013 she was released!



Stats:
Species: Caretta Caretta
Age: 10-12 Years Old
Weight: 18.5 kg
Length: 54 cm
 

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ETNA

Arriving to us in December 2020, Etna was found stranded on a beach in Sicily. She had a broken front flipper which no longer had any blood circulation and the tissues were completely dead.  We were obliged to amputate her flipper. She remained in our centre where she recovered until she was ready to return to Sicily where she was released! Etna is so called due to the shocking and incredible discovery of ash crystals from one of the most beautiful volcanoes in our Mediterranean, Etna, found in her faeces. 

Stats:
Species: Caretta Caretta
Age: 5 Years Old
Weight: 6 kg
Length: 31 cm