The third sea turtle admitted into the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital in July is Atalaya, a sub-adult loggerhead that stranded at Huntington Beach State Park. This poor turtle is extremely debilitated, suffering from severe emaciation, dehydration, and critically low blood levels including no blood glucose and a 5% hematocrit (% red blood cells...normal is 30-40%). We are tremendously grateful for the generous donation from Loggerhead Apparel of the funds to buy a new i-STAT blood machine. Getting a thorough blood analysis when the turtles first arrive is critical to successful treatment!
|Jeff McClary, head of SCUTE, helped to get the turtle from Huntington to Georgetown and SCDNR transported the rest of the way to find Sea Turtle Rescue staff awaiting their arrival.|
|The emaciated loggerhead hardly moved during the admission process. The heavy barnacle load is an indication that the turtle has been lethargic in the ocean.|
|Marine leeches were removed from the corners of the mouth. Notice how sunken the eyes are...a sign of dehydration and lack of muscles and fat behind the eyes.|
|Dr. Boylan gives fluids IV in the dorsal sinus.|
|After 2.5 hours of treatment, the turtle was moved into the ICU tank in the Sea Turtle Hospital.|
|After 2 nights of dry dock, Atalaya is now swimming in shallow water. She isn't eating yet and we plan to tube feed a gruel with fish and vitamins to get some nutrition on board.|
Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager