Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meet Peachy and Keen!

Many Sea Turtle Hospital visitors know that there are several non-sea turtle patients here in the hospital. On January 7, 2013 we took in two eastern mud turtles (Kinosternon subrubrum), a species native to South Carolina. “Peachy” is an adult female who was found emaciated in the wild. “Keen” is an adult male who was run over by a lawn mower.

Peachy and Keen arrived together and seem to enjoy each other's company.
For some background information, eastern mud turtles live in freshwater environments. They can be found in many areas of the United States from New York south to Florida and west along the Gulf Coast, as well as northward through the Mississippi River Valley. Mud turtles are omnivores, and they feed mostly in aquatic environments on organisms such as insects, mollusks, amphibians, as well as on aquatic vegetation.

Peachy is very feisty and has recovered quickly. Upon arrival, she weighed 110 grams and now weighs 138 grams! The weight range for an adult mud turtle is 88-263 grams and her current weight is appropriate for her size. Our veterinarian removed a small, round abscess from her left front leg last week and Peachy is healing well from her minor surgical procedure.
Peachy loves to eat the healthy fish and veggies we provide her with, and often snaps her beak in anticipation when she sees her breakfast approaching!
This picture gives a good view of the circular abcess that developed on Peachy's left front leg.
Keen’s recovery has been much slower than Peachy’s. He was put on antibiotics and also fluids for dehydration. Upon arrival, he weighed 97.5 g and now weighs 114 g. However, he is still very thin and prone to dehydration, as he spends all of his time basking under a UV lamp and is not drinking enough water. He has been a very stubborn eater but eats well with our help from tongs.

The white calcium-based paste on Keen's shell has helped to hold the fractured segments together, and will wear off over time.

The tip of Keen's beak was also damaged, but he is still able to eat well.
 Keen still has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but his will to live is strong and he has made progress. Come by and see Peachy and Keen on your next visit to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital!
Joni Vaughn
Sea Turtle Rescue Program Intern