Once captured, the sea turtle was transported to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program for medical treatment. Suffering from SCUD (septicemic cutaneous ulcerative disease), the turtle presented with many necrotic skin ulcers. There were also hundreds (perhaps thousands) of marine leeches and leech eggs on the soft tissue, as seen in the photos below. Fortunately, "Grice" was quite active upon arrival and staff is hopeful that this turtle was rescued in time.
Huge thanks to all the folks out at Fort Johnson involved in the rescue of this animal! Also, many thanks to Christi Hughes, Ann Estes, intern Meghan Walsh, and Dr. Jose Biascoechea of Birds and Exotics Veterinary Clinic for the Friday night turtle ER! You guys are amazing!