It is very unfortunate to report that Jo has gone missing.
She was discovered missing on 1st of January when we went to feed her at 9am. Staff member Rahim was the last to see her, the night before at around 11 pm.
We immediately started searching from the beach and jetty, but could only start searching by boat after the third day because of bad monsoon waves, so even if we had been able to get on the water it would have been nearly impossible to see any occurrence of Jo coming up to breathe..
We searched for about 1 week by kayaking and speed boat around Juara Bay. On the 7th day somebody informed us about seeing weirdly behaving turtle by Chebeh, a small island north of Tioman. We went by speed boat and spent the afternoon searching but the weather was not good either and we found nothing.
Then we received another tip that some people fishing had seen a turtle by Renggis Island in front of Berjaya Resort, Tioman. We went by speedboat to search but again found nothing.
So now after almost three weeks we have decided to stop searching.
Jo is bigger and stronger now so maybe predators wont disturb her but she is still incapable of finding her own food.
Very sad news, we will keep updated on any events.
We are also working with Reef Check Malaysia to monitor for any coral reef bleaching that occurs. Together we are doing this, with others, by weekly monitoring a few test areas around Tioman. We are monitoring locations on this East Coast. No significant bleaching has occurred yet, but this survey is important to provide a base line for reference if there are any bleaching events in the future.
We were called by the Bagus Place resort manager to come and attend to a sick young Hawksbill turtle that was found floating near their jetty. The turtle was actually first spotted by some guest who had previously been volunteers here at JTP.
The turtle was floating with a large amount of algae on it, meaning it had been inactive for some time already, often in these cases there is a buoyancy issue with the turtle so they cannot dive for food, and become fatigued and starved.
We referred to turtle care manuals, and to the Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia’s Prof Eng Chan, and Ms Pelf for advice. After feeding the turtle with a squid smoothie and re-hydrating water for almost a week and seeing no improvement in health, we checked again with TCS about the best next step. We decided it best to release the poor turtle back into deep water about 2k from the shore, where if it survives it will be properly located in the off-shore currents.