Friday, August 23, 2013

Update on Briar!

If you are an avid follower of our blog or made a visit to the hospital in late May, you probably remember Briar, a horribly ill loggerhead with a grim prognosis. On the night we received Briar, we found her barely clinging to life, emaciated and with horrible blood values. Staff and volunteers rushed in every morning fingers crossed that she was still with us. Briar proved to be a fighter, amazing us all by making improvements everyday!

It has been 3 months since Briar was admitted, and she looks like a completely different turtle! After being moved from critical care, Briar developed a huge appetite and has been eating 2 pounds of fish and blue crabs daily. Becasue of her active appetite, she has gained approximately 50 pounds and is now at a healthy weight of 165 lb. She has become a favorite on tours, showing her fiesty side trying to bite anything that passes by the window! This change in behavior is an indicator that she feeling much better. During her last medical work up, blood work had improved drastically since admittance but showed she is still slightly anemic. Iron injections have been started and our fingers are crossed for a late summer release!

"Come see me soon!"

Come visit Briar and the rest of our patients on a behind-the-scenes Sea Turtle Hospital Tour, now offered 7 days a week, at 12:00 pm & 2:00pm!

Whitney Daniel
Sea Turtle Biologist

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

July 31, 2013 Sea Turtle Release Photo Blog!

Sutton:  Juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle; one of 18 cold stunned sea turtles admitted by the South Carolina Aquarium in the winter of 2012/13. To learn more about Sutton's admission and rehab, go to his/her hospital page.
Sutton is pulled from his/her tank with loggerhead, Pluff watching in the background!
2013 Sea Turtle Hospital Summer Intern, Megan Kelley, gives Sutton a lift to the water with a big smile on her face. Martha holds the sign to let everyone know the turtle's name. 
A little turtle in front of a big crowd...but there was no stage fright! Sutton wasted no time scurrying into deeper water!
Headed home!

Raker: Juvenile green sea turtle; the first live stranding of the 2013 SC stranding season. To learn more about Sutton's admission and rehab, go to his/her hospital page.
Raker just before being lifted from his/her tank to head to the beach.
2013 Sea Turtle Hospital Summer Intern, Carissa Brown, shows Raker to onlookers as she makes her way down the beach. Our young sign holder, Anne, helped everyone see who was being released. 
A beautiful close-up of Raker.
Slow and steady, Raker made his way into the ocean.
Megan and Carissa have each worked 40-50 hours per week in the Sea Turtle Hospital this summer and are captured relishing in the excitement of helping to rehabilitate and release these endangered species.
Splinter: Juvenile loggerhead sea turtle caught on board a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources research vessel; found with a large foreign object embedded in a rear flipper. To learn more about Splinter's admission and rehab, go to his/her hospital page.
Sign holders, Susanna and Lily watch as Splinter is pulled out of the transport container.

Mike Arendt (right), Principal Investigator of SCDNR In-Water Research Program and Lexi Mechem (left), past Sea Turtle Hospital intern, release Splinter, a beautiful loggerhead that was rescued by the In-Water Research Group this year.
Splinter was placed on the beach for a few moments and quickly turned around. Our young sign holder, Campbell enjoyed her time with this funny turtle!
Splinter on the beach with his/her releasers, a few representatives from the media, and the backdrop of a huge crowd of spectators.
A regal photo of this loggerhead.
And away he/she goes!

Thank you to all who make the rescue, rehabilitation and release of these sea turtles possible including the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, donors, volunteers, interns, and even media that helps to spread the good word about our work. As you can see, the sea turtles releases draw huge crowds and as much as we try to create an organized, wonderful event for all to enjoy, large, excited crowds can sometimes get a little rowdy. Just please always remember to be kind to the people around you and let children up front so they can see, and hopefully everyone will have the experience of a lifetime!
All the best,
Kelly Thorvalson