Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: Norfolk, VA
Arrival Date: 11/29/2017
Weight: 44.30 kg (97.6 pounds)
This juvenile loggerhead was cold stunned and stranded on 11/16 at the Little Creek Joint Expedition Naval Base in Virginia. Once rescued, he was quickly brought to the Virginia Aquarium where he was treated for cold stunning (hypothermia). With a body temperature of only 58.1 F, Drogon was slowly warmed up over the course of the next few days. Once he was stable, arrangements were made with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to transfer this turtle and two other loggerheads, named Rhaegal and Viserion, here to the South Carolina Aquarium. On 11/29, the three loggerheads arrived in style via private jet piloted by Paul Schubert. Paul has generously donate his time and services to transport turtles not just to the aquarium but other facilities as well. Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) staff anxiously awaited the arrival of the three cold stun loggerheads from Virginia, picked them up at the Mount Pleasant Regional Airport and transported them the final leg of their trip to the South Carolina Aquarium.
Once at the aquarium Drogon’s vitals were checked and radiographs taken. Drogon was lethargic but had a strong heart rate of 20 bpm. Radiographs revealed bronchitis so he was started on two antibiotics. After a thorough check by Dr. Shane Boylan, Drogon was moved placed in a shallow tank to rest comfortably overnight.
December 4, 2017: Drogon has perked up over the last few days, but is still on the quieter side. He is interested in food but appears to have difficulty grasping and swallowing the fish pieces. STCC staff is monitoring him closely and assist feeding him with tongs.
December 15, 2017: The first few days after Drogon was admitted to our Care Center, he had some trouble eating. Though he had an appetite, he struggled to open his jaw wide enough to grab the fish so small pieces were very important. However, over the course of the last week we have observed an improvement in his ability to eat overall. Drogon also has a severe case of pneumonia and is still on antibiotics. With antibiotics on board and time, Drogon should continue to improve.
January 15, 2018: Drogon has really improved over the last few weeks! Drogon is eating full diets like a champ and has become very strong and feisty when being pulled for antibiotic injections.