70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Update on the stranded hawksbill turtle named Dhiya

By : Ann Kunz

On the 19th December 2021,  Dhiya, a beautiful hawksbill turtle washed ashore at Bhanga Nek which is a remote area on the Kwa-Zulu Natal North Coast.  She was transported from Bhanga Nek to Hluhluwe by an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff member who then handed her over to the NSRI team.  They very kindly drove her all the way from Hluhluwe to Durban  – a distance of more than 500km.

uShaka Sea World staff were prepared for her arrival and had been warned that her condition was poor.  She appeared emaciated and understandably lethargic. She was named Dhiya which is of Hindu origin, signifying light, goodness and purity.

Dhiya was given fluids and left to rest in a shallow bath.  She remained almost motionless for the next few days and hardly stirred whilst the team took blood samples, performed x-rays and administered fluids.  

Over the last two weeks, although she has not regained her strength, she has not deteriorated, which is a good sign. She is clearly a fighter.

Her radiographs indicated that she had been feeding whilst her bloods showed good glucose levels. She was put on a course of antibiotics which we hope will assist in her recovery.

“We are very grateful to the staff from both Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the NSRI for their continued dedication to caring for stranded marine animals and for giving Diya the best possible chance of recovery.  Although prediction about her survival is guarded, we are continuing to do whatever we can to give her a second chance and believe that she has the capacity to recover”  said Senior Aquarist, Malini Pather.

Hawksbill turtles are currently classified as Endangered.