Monday, July 25, 2011

Kemp's ridley with boat strike wounds caught by fisherman

It was his lucky day. On Saturday morning, the 7-pound endangered Kemp’s ridley took the bait of a fisherman at Battery Park who recognized that the turtle needed medical attention. Although the fisherman was able to remove the hook from the turtle’s mouth fairly easily, boat strike wounds were evident in the shell and skull.

Once admitted into the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital, diagnostic tests were performed. Bloodwork revealed anemia (PCV 14%), low total protein (1.9), and lactic acidosis (almost 15), and a broken right humerus showed up on x-ray. Initial treatments included antibiotic and vitamin injections, fluid therapy and bicarbonate.

The sea turtle affectionately named “Battery” after the location he was caught, has wounds that look familiar to hospital staff. As seen in the comparison photos below, Battery and the loggerhead admitted last week, Yawkey, endured boat strikes in the same areas and both have broken flippers from the strikes. Although we can see similarities in injuries, the age and severity of the wounds are different. Battery's wounds are a bit older and some healing has already occurred. It is safe to say that this turtle will survive. Yawkey's wounds are fresh and have caused a great deal of internal bleeding. Unlike Battery, this animal is not out of the woods just yet.

Be sure to check back to the sea turtle cases on the hospital page for updates on our patients.