‘Maamo’ has recovered,transferred to Sta. Cruz PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 October 2015 14:21

By VIC LARATO

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 Sta. Cruz Island Thursday, Oct. 8.

Maamo, a vernacular word for tamed, underwent series of treatment and surgical operation 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 Ben Acana 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 wound and fracture in the head, resulting in severe weakness and health deterioration. The wound was in decomposition and possible infection stage.

Initial option was, if  “Maamo’s” medical condition comes to worst and its survival was extremely nil, euthanasia or mercy killing was to be administered on the marine turtle belonging to the reptile family.

The reptile was subjected to an X-ray examination, which showed that it was negative of fracture in the head. Thus, chances of its survival were high, but it had to be transferred to Zamboanga City for series of treatment 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 observation by a special team from personnel of the City Veterinarian Office, ZSCMST and Tzu Chi Foundation.

The marine turtle’s health condition significantly improved after surgery until it recovered its appetite and digestion system. Just the same medication continued and vitamins were given as well.

It was gradually released to strictly measured amount and level of water for its adaptation. Then, “Maamo” found a new habitant, a lagoon on the Great Sta. Cruz Island.— Vic Larato