Thursday, April 2, 2009

First live stranding of 2009

On Saturday, March 28, 2009, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) responded to a call from the Kiawah Island turtle team that a loggerhead had stranded on the beach and was still alive. The SCDNR picked up the 80-pound debilitated loggerhead from the island and transported it to the Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital. The emaciated and mildy dehydrated turtle was covered with a large amount of epibiota on the shell, flippers, and head. This condition is often described as Debilitated Turtle Syndrome (DTS). Initial bloodwork was taken and analyzed. Most pressing was the lack of any blood glucose (severe hypoglycemia). Fluid therapy, antibiotics, and dextrose were administered over a few hours on Saturday afternoon/evening and treatments continued Sunday. Named after the beach on which the turtle was found, “Kiawah” started eating small amounts of fish this week. Radiographs will soon be taken and supportive therapy continues. Hospital staff are keeping a very close eye on this animal.

Thank you to the folks involved in the rescue including Jamie Bell, Joe Pezzullo and Art Zackrison from Kiawah and DuBose Griffin from the SC Department of Natural Resources. Thanks also to our dedicated hospital volunteers and intern Jacquline Gobien. This animal has a good chance for survival because of everyone’s quick actions!

Once again, the Turtle Hospital has reached a number of patients never held at one time before...13! Be sure to come to visit us soon for the rare opportunty to come face to face with these threatened and endangered species. 4 of these sea turtles will be released over the next few weeks in the warm waters offshore so stay tuned to the blog for more updates!

Kelly Thorvalson and Shane Boylan