Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A new Kemp's ridley patient - St. Catherine

A 26-pound Kemp's ridley sea turtle was transported to the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital by the SC Department of Natural Resources at 7am on Saturday morning. The turtle was captured on Friday by a DNR research vessel sampling near St. Catherine's Island, GA. A southern stingray barb punctured the skin and was broken and deeply embedded in the neck/shoulder region.

Above: The turtle presented with a puncture wound between the neck and shoulder.

Above: Sea Turtle Biologist, Christi Hughes, and intern, Megan Walsh, weighed and measured the turtle upon arrival.

Above: The neck and shoulder were very swollen due to the venomous nature of the stingray barb.

Above: Radiographs were taken to determine the exact location of the barb.
Above: With the turtle anesthetized, Dr. Shane Boylan assisted by several members of the Sea Turtle Rescue Team, surgically removed the barb.
Above: Once the barb was removed, the wound was stitched and the turtle was recovered from anesthesia.

St. Catherine recieved an injection of dexamethasone, a steroid primarily used as an anti-inflammatory, as well as fluid therapy on Saturday and Sunday. "She" is also on 2 antibiotics and pain medication. Because of her lethargic state after surgery, she was left in dry dock (out of water) until Monday morning. Hospital staff were pleased when the tank was filled with water and St. Catherine swam very well, without favoring the right flipper at all.

Thanks to the SCDNR SEAMAP crew for taking great care of the turtle until they could reach Charleston, to SCDNR Marine Turtle Conservation Program crew for responding and coordinating the rescue, and to our Sea Turtle Rescue Team that spends countless hours, day and night, holidays and weekends, providing top quality medical care to these animals. Go team!