Thursday, July 25, 2013

Three Sea Turtles Being Released July 31st!

Three sea turtles have fully recovered from various illnesses and have been medically cleared at the South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital. In partnership with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, Splinter, Raker and Sutton will be released on Wednesday, July 31st at 10am at the Isle of Palms County Park. The public is invited to attend. The releases are extremely well attended so it is important to arrive early (the County Park will open at 8:30 am for this event), carpool, and plan to pay for parking.

Splinter was caught on board the SCDNR research vessel, the Lady Lisa off of Dewees Inlet with what appeared to be a wooden splinter through the right rear flipper. The splinter caused severe inflammation to the flipper, especially around the knee. Antibiotics and pain medications were administered. Surgery to remove the foreign body was performed soon after and revealed the splinter was the tip of a swordfish bill. We'll never know how the interaction occurred but are thrilled that Splinter made such a quick recovery!

This 8-pound green sea turtle was found on Myrtle Beach by the beach rakers that clean the beaches each morning. The went to great lengths to keep the sick turtle protected until help could arrive.  Raker's core body temperature upon arrival at the Aquarium was only 58 degrees Fahrenheit so s/he was kept in our temperature-controlled surgery suite to prevent her from warming up too quickly. He had a heart rate of only12 bpm and poor blood work. In addition, this turtle sustained has a shell infection and severe corneal abrasions on the eyes. Raker was in critical condition for several days.

Sutton is one of eighteen cold stunned sea turtles transferred to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital this past winter. Sutton originally cold-stunned around Cape Cod, MA and was initially treated by NEAq’s Marine Animal Rescue Team. In addition to hypothermia causing lethargy, dehydration and reduced heart rate, Sutton has many lesions on his/her body , the worst being around the nose. The lesions have healed, blood work improved, and our feisty Sutton is ready to go back into the ocean!

We would like to send a huge thank you to everyone involved in the successful rehabilitation of these animals including rescuers, transporters, partner organizations, donors, volunteers, and staff - we could not do it without you!
All the best,
Kelly Thorvalson