Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ongoing treatment for "Myrtle" the Kemp's ridley

Over the last few months, "Myrtle" has lost her spunky attitude and appetite. The floating disorder has changed slightly in that she is more buoyant on her left side than her right. To quantify the changes in her lungs, "Myrtle" was taken back to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to have an MRI. The imaging research team at MUSC are an amazing group of folks and we cannot thank them enough for working with us on ailing "Myrtle," on a Friday evening after hours no less!

A new therapy that has been initiated is diving with "Myrtle" in a 14' exhibit tank with a weight belt. Weight therapy has been used in hospital holding tanks but the tanks are fairly shallow. Staff wanted to see what "Myrtle" would do in deeper water with the extra weight. A video of the first day of this therapy is below. Although not actively swimming, it is nice to see the turtle lingering under water for a longer period of time. This therapy will occur ~2 times per week thanks to Sallie Miller and her Carolina Seas dive assistants. Hopefully something positive will come from it!

Good luck "Myrtle"!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Loggerheads "Beasley" and "Ocracoke" lucky to be alive

The South Carolina Aquarium admitted 2 new patients on February 11th that were part of the most recent cold stunning event off the NC coast. The two loggerheads named "Beasley," after the Karen Beasley Rescue and Rehabilitation Center that took in the turtles when they first stranded, and "Ocracoke," the NC island where the turtles were found, had internal body temperatures of 51 degrees Fahrenheit when they stranded. These animals are lucky to survive the severe 3-day cold-stunning event that killed ~75% of the 109 sea turtles involved. Kelly Sloan of SCDNR transported the animals from NC to the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital where they will receive treatment until medically cleared for release.

Click on photographs to enlarge.
Sea Turtle Hospital staff set up a new holding pool with life support to help out with the large numbers of strandings and several temporary tanks are being used to increase holding capacity. As always, we will do all we can to help in these terrible events.

Find out more about "Beasely" and "Ocracoke" on the Sea Turtle Hospital webpage or come visit them in person by taking a Sea Turtle Hospital behind-the-scenes tour - we'd love to see you!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Two SC classes raise $3,500 for the Sea Turtle Rescue Program!

The Gilbert Middle School ProTeam Class of 20 seventh graders raised $1500 for the sick and injured sea turtles in our hospital! Yea ProTeam! Below is a photo of their visit to the Aquarium and Sea Turtle Hospital taken on the Riverside Terrace. It was a beautiful January day and the kids were too excited to start their day by watching dolphins swimming and playing in the Charleston Harbor. Thanks to Daphne DuBose and the entire ProTeam class for these efforts!

With Erin Ruth at the helm, 21 kids from Cheraw Intermediate raised $2,000 for the Sea Turtle Rescue Program! Each student was able to become a stranded turtle adoptive parent as well as get a tour of the Aquarium and Hospital. The class visited on February 2nd to deliver the check (photo below) and meet the sea turtle patients they adopted. Awesome job Cheraw students!

We are so very appreciative of the hard work that goes into raising funds for the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital. These teachers are not only teaching their students about the importance of sea turtle and ocean conservation, but are also instilling a spirit of giving and supporting local, non-profit organizations. Thank you classes at Gilbert Middle and Cheraw Intermediate, for helping us continue to provide the best possible care to the sick and injured sea turtles that come to our hospital. You are making a difference!

Photos are courtesy of Sharpshooter Images.