Thursday, April 28, 2011
The loggerhead named Jammer, washed up near the fishing pier on front beach Isle of Palms, SC, just blocks from the popular Windjammer beach club that s/he is named after. This iconic venue has been a local favorite for decades, operating on the island since 1972...even before sea turtles were put on the endangered species list. SCDNR responded to the live stranding and Island Turtle Team members Mary Pringle and Bev Ballow, pulled the turtle from the surf to the safety of the DNR transport vehicle.Upon arrival at the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital, weights and measurements were taken and diagnostic tests were performed. The heart rate of a healthy sea turtle is ~30 beats per minute (bpm) but this turtle's heart rate was only 7 bpm, a condition called bradycardia. The turtle is also severely emaciated and dehydrated. As expected, the turtle had very low blood glucose and blood protein levels but the hematocrit (percentage of red blood cells in the blood) was actually close to normal. Sea turtles in this debilitated state are usually severely anemic with a very low hematocrit level, so although puzzled by the result, hospital staff was thrilled to get it.
Treatments include oxygen, fluid therapy, vitamins, and antibiotic injections. After 24 hours of treatment, the turtles heart rate had risen to 24 bpm and respirations were stronger. The prognosis is guarded on this animal but we are doing all we possibly can to save it!
Huge thanks to all involved in this rescue!
Monday, April 18, 2011
A little turtle with a big name
The turtle is being named after the Folly Beach fishing pier where it was caught: Edwin S. Taylor. It is a big name for a little turtle but Kemp's ridleys are known for their big personalities, so we are pretty sure he will grow into it. Although the fisherman was able to remove the hook before it was swallowed, the turtle is suffering from dehydration and skin lesions. Medical treatments include antibiotics, fluid therapy and external treatment of lesions.
This new stranding brings the Aquarium's sea turtle patient load to 20, the most ever treated at once. But coastal waters are quickly warming and the Sea Turtle Rescue Team is looking forward to releasing many of the rehabilitated patients over the next month or so. Releases are temperature dependant so the dates are not determined yet. Keep checking back to the blog if you are interested in finding out more about these releases.
Thanks to all involved in the rescue of this animal!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
On behalf of the South Carolina Aquarium and our ten green sea turtles, we’d like to thank John, Matt Setter and Linda Helms from the produce department, as well as the rest of the Earth Fare crew for all their efforts to help us keep our sea turtles as healthy as possible while undergoing rehabilitation in our Sea Turtle Hospital. Be sure to check Earth Fare out online at http://www.earthfare.com/ and enjoy the video below!
Christi Hughes, Sea Turtle Biologist
Monday, April 4, 2011
After twenty-three months and a tremendous amount of medical support and care, Little Debbie is being released back into the ocean on Thursday. Without a doubt, she has left a lasting impression on those that have come in close contact with her. She will likely be remembered most for her spunky attitude, often splashing those that get near her tank, and because she is the most fun to watch chase and catch live blue crabs of any sea turtle ever treated in our program!Many ask if Little Debbie will be o.k. in the wild after being in captive care for almost 2 years. I can say "yes" with confidence for several reasons: Sea turtles are remarkably instinctive and don't imprint like birds or mammals. They are benefitted by their small brains in this fact. Their instincts drive their behavior and you can't take this instinct away in 2 years. I always like to tell folks that our patients “will bite the hands that feed them.” Little Debbie is spunky, quick, and honestly, could care less about us. We are ok with this because our entire goal is to heal them and to get them back into the ocean to rejoin the wild population, in hopes that they will contribute reproductively to that population.
Little Debbie will be picked up very early Thursday morning to be transported to Cape Canaveral, Florida for release. If you’d like to see her one last time, you can visit on one of the Wednesday Sea Turtle Hospital tours, 11:30am or 1pm.
To all of our donors, Stranded Turtle Adoptive Parents, visitors, partners, and volunteers – thank you so much for all you do to make these successes possible! Kelly Thorvalson