Monday, August 30, 2010

North Myrtle gets released after 2 years of treatment

The 100-pound loggerhead sea turtle, North Myrtle, was released Tuesday, August 24 after being treated for just under 2 years by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program. North Myrtle was admitted with 7 fractures in the carapace (top shell) on September 3, 2008. North Myrtle was also suffering from pneumonia upon arrival at the Sea Turtle Hospital and was in critical condition for over a month. Below is a photo of North Myrtle a week after being admitted.

About four months after arriving at the Sea Turtle Hospital, the dead bone had finally all come out and healthy granulation tissue replaced open wounds. Keratin (the brown layer over the bone) also started its slow growth which would eventually provide stability and a protective barrier to the fractures.

It took almost 2 years for the carapace to stabilize enough for the turtle to be released but that day finally arrived on August 24th. North Myrtle was released from the Aquarium's Scout boat a few miles off the coast of Folly Beach.

North Myrtle was not only a difficult medical case to treat but "she" was a difficult turtle to take care of - period. She was picky about the types of fish she ate, messy when she decided to eat, and consistently splashed her caregivers and anyone else that came close to her tank. Not only that, but staff and volunteers were ALWAYS having to squeegee water from around her tank to keep the area safe to walk. For all of these reasons and simply because she defied death, North Myrtle has left a lasting impression on any and all that met her. We wish her the best in that big (and dangerous) ocean out there.

Thank you to all that have been a part of making this animal's release a reality!