Monday, August 15, 2011

Sea Turtle Release Friday, August 19

Pack your swimsuits, get the kids from school, and head out to the Isle of Palms to watch 2 loggerheads and 1 Kemp's ridley be released back into the ocean after recuperating from various illnesses at the South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital. In partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, Beaufort, Capers and Laurel will be released at the Isle of Palms County Park on Friday, August 19th at 4:30 pm. County Park parking fees will apply.

This feisty 100-pound loggerhead was found floating in Battery Creek in Beaufort, SC on May 30, 2011. X-rays revealed intestinal air, possibly caused by an impaction. Beaufort’s treatment included antibiotics, fluids, and s/he received regular tube feeding of mineral oil, as well as weekly enemas. Beaufort finally passed the air trapped in her intestines and the staff is extremely happy that she can go home (so she'll quit trying to bite us when we work on her)!

The photo below is a nice comparison of Beaufort floating with her posterior (rear) end up and her present state of being neutrally buoyant.

This 94-pound loggerhead was picked up by SCDNR on their loggerhead trawl survey on May 31, 2011. Once on the boat, it was noted that Capers had a strange loss of keratin (protective layer) on the soft tissue and the bloodwork revealed anemia. She was transferred to the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital for medical treatment which included two types of antibiotics, fluid therapy, topical skin treatment and vitamins. With her ailments resolved and her activity level finally that of a healthy, wild loggerhead, Capers is ready to go home.

This 7-pound Kemp's ridley was caught by a recreational fisherman on June 21, 2011 in Laurel Bay in Beaufort, SC. The circle hook in her esophagus required surgical removal by making a small incision in her neck and esophagus. This was done with the turtle fully anesthetized and in just over a week, Laurel was able to eat. The wound has now completely healed and Laurel is medically cleared for release.

To see the full medical updates including photos of these turtles, be sure to go to the Sea Turtle Hospital webpage at

Huge thanks to all involved in the rescue and successful rehabilitation of these sea turtles. We hope you will be able to come out to witness these amazing animals return to their natural habitat!

Kelly Thorvalson