Admitted on Monday, April 22, this little green sea turtle was covered in barnacles, algae and a thick layer of sand from getting pounded in the surf. The beach workers/rakers on Myrtle Beach that found the endangered turtle were very concerned and went to great lengths to shield "Raker" from the cold winds while they waited for help to arrive. Linda Mataya from the North Myrtle Beach turtle team transported the sick turtle to McClellanville where she was met by SCDNR's Lisa Scarano, who drove him/her the rest of the way to the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital.
|The 3.4 kg juvenile green sea turtle hardly moved during admission.|
|Profile of Raker: you can see soft tissue lesions, the injured eye and algae growth.|
|I weighed and measured the turtle while Lisa recorded the data.|
After measurements and preliminary blood work were taken, Birds and Exotics Vet Dr. Jose Biascoechea guided treatment for the new patient. Raker's core body temperature was consistently monitored and raised at a slow pace of 0.5-1 degree per hour.
|Dr. Biascoechea administering subcutaneous fluids.|
|Dr. Biascoechea and I go over the treatment plan for Raker. Good luck little one!|
Captain Gresh Megget of Absolute Reel Screamer Charters came across a juvenile green sea turtle in Folly River by Crosby's Seafood on Saturday, April 28. Captain Gresh describes the turtle as covered in barnacles and algae, floating, and swimming in circles. The captain and guests recognized that the turtle was in distress and brought the animal to the Folly Beach boat landing where SCDNR's Jenna Cormany met them for the transfer.
|Crosby's rescuer, Captain Gresh at the dock after the rescue.|
|In addition to being very lethargic with poor blood work and dehydration, the 4kg juvenile green has several external wounds on the carapace and plastron.|
The turtle arrived at the South Carolina Aquarium just as the 6th Annual Environmental Stewardship Gala was about to begin. Reminiscent of the Gala 3 years ago, I was able to help admit the turtle just before heading out to enjoy the amazing event on the Aquarium's front lawn.
|LEFT: Loggerhead admission on evening of 2010 Environmental Stewardship Awards Gala; RIGHT: Green admission on evening of 2013 Environmental Stewardship Awards Gala.|
|SCDNR stranding volunteer/Sea Turtle Hospital volunteer Barb Gobien, applies triple antibiotic ointment to the plastron wounds.|
|Whitney and Barb take Crosby's heart rate.|
|Dr. Shane Boylan does a full physical examination, including inspecting the mouth. Supportive care included fluids, antibiotics, vitamins and wound care.|
Huge thanks to the rescuers and all involved in the transporting and care of these sick sea turtles. Each step is critical in their survival. As the weather warms and sea turtles move into our coastal waters, it is important to be on the lookout for sea turtles in distress. To notify someone of a sick, injured or dead sea turtle, call the SCDNR stranded sea turtle hotline at 1-800-922-5431. And while you are out on the beaches this summer, be sure to pick up any litter you find and keep the beach as safe as possible for our nesting females and hatchlings!
Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager