Philippines: ‘Maamo’ has recovered, transferred to Santa Cruz

By Vic Larato, 12th October 2015;

After weeks of medication and treatment, Maamo, the wounded Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) has significantly recovered and has been transferred to a lagoon in the Great Santa Cruz Island Thursday, Oct. 8.

Maamo, a vernacular word for tamed, underwent a series of treatments and surgical operations due to wounds in the head by a neuro-surgeon, Dr. Gaudencio Ligutom, at the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST). Maamo was rescued last Aug. 24 in Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay.

City Environment and Natural Resources Officer BenAcana in a report prepared by the “Maamo Watch Team” said the marine turtle was rescued off the shore of Naga by elements of the Philippine Coast Guard.

A medical examination by the Provincial Veterinarian Office showed that “Maamo” sustained severe gunshot wounds and possible fracture in the head, resulting in severe weakness and health deterioration. The wound was decomposing and possibly infected.

The initial option was, if  “Maamo’s” medical condition worsened and its survival was extremely unlikely, euthanasia or mercy killing was to be administered on the marine reptile.

The reptile was subjected to an X-ray examination, which showed that it was free of head fractures. Thus, chances of its survival were high, but it had to be transferred to Zamboanga City for a series of treatments and even surgery.

On Aug. 25, “Maamo” was taken to this city and brought to the ZSCMST Marine Laboratory where veterinarian Dr. Anton Lim of Tzu Chi Foundation initiated the assessment of the reptile’s health condition.

A five-hour surgery was carried out on “Maamo” that followed weeks of medication and a month’s observation by a special team comprising personnel from the City Veterinarian Office, ZSCMST and Tzu Chi Foundation.

The sea turtle’s health improved significantly after surgery until it recovered its appetite. The same course of medication continued and vitamins were given as well.

It was gradually released in a strictly measured amount and level of water for it to adapt. Then, “Maamo” found a new home, a lagoon on Great Santa Cruz Island.

Source: Zamboanga Today

Philippines: ‘Maamo’ has recovered, transferred to Santa Cruz

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