Thursday, June 21, 2012

Second sea turtle admitted in two days

On June 18th, a 56-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle was caught near Bulls Bay by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) research vessel, the Lady Lisa. The Lady Lisa is one of two vessels used for the SCDNR In-water research program that assesses the health and population status of sea turtles along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts via trawling. The turtle suffered a minor wound to the soft tissues surrounding the eye from a stingray barb. Initial blood values analyzed on the boat were less than what we consider normal for a healthy sea turtle (packed cell volume=25%, total solids=1). Due to the puncture wound, poor blood values, and moderately heavy barnacle coverage, this loggerhead was transferred to our sea turtle hospital with help from the crew of the Lady Lisa and the Principle Investigator of the in-water program, Mike Arendt.

Mike Arendt and crew delivering "Bulls" at Ft. Johnson to SCA staff to be transported to the sea turtle hospital.
Dr. Shane Boylan drawing blood to check current blood values.
Close look of the puncture wound to the soft tissue surrounding Bulls' eye.
Dr. Shane Boylan checking Bulls' eye to rule out any damage potentially sustained from the barb.
After arriving at the hospital, “Bulls Bay” was examined by our veterinarian, Dr. Shane Boylan. Bulls’ prescribed treatment included antibiotics, fluids, and a fluorescein eye stain. Bulls was fortunate enough not to sustain any damage to the eye from the stingray barb. We will continue to monitor the wound and Bulls blood values, especially the white blood cell count which can become elevated from the venom released from the barb. Prognosis if very good and we are hoping for a quick recovery! You can monitor Bulls’ progress here or come see first-hand on one of our tours!
Whitney Daniel
Sea Turtle Biologist