Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: 25 miles offshore of McClellanville, SC
Arrival Date: 4/14/2017
Weight: 25.48 kg (56 pounds)
Jacques was found by a commercial fishing boat approximately 25 miles offshore. The crew saw this lethargic turtle floating in the water and covered in barnacles. Noticing that this juvenile loggerhead was in need of help, they brought him on board until they came back to port later that night. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) kept Jacques in a padded kiddie pool overnight, monitoring him closely until they could bring the sick turtle to the Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) early the next morning.
Jacques is the first DTS (Debilitated Turtle Syndrome) patient of the 2017 stranding season. DTS is a syndrome we see often at the STCC and is characterized by low blood values, dehydration, emaciation, lethargy and heavy epibiont load. Jacques was very lucky to be found so far offshore. He was given vitamins, fluid therapy and antibiotics to re-hydrate and fight infection.
April 17, 2017: The day after Jacques was admitted, he ate a piece of fish right away! This is always a very good sign as a healthy appetite puts a patient on the road to a healthy recovery. Once Jacques started defecating, we started finding pieces of plastic in the tank! To date, Jacques has passed 5 pieces of clear plastic, one of which looked to be a water bottle wrapper.
April 22, 2017: Jacques has a great appetite already, and he is very alert and responsive to us when we clean the tank and pull him out for injections. He was recently moved to a larger tank to accommodate his active personality!
May 5, 2017: Jacques continues to improve every single day! We are now giving Jacques an iron injection to fight anemia (low iron in the blood), and he continues to get antibiotics and calcium supplements. When patients with DTS arrive, their plastrons are soft and additional care is needed when handling them. By supplementing the patients with calcium, we help their body build their calcium reserves and get their strong shell back. Jacques may look a lot worse off than he is, but don’t be fooled by his appearance – he is doing very well!
May 19, 2017: Jacques is much improved! His physical appearance makes it seem like he’s in bad shape, but in fact, he’s actually doing very well. Staff has continued his antibiotics and vitamin supplementation in order to ward off any potential infections. Jacques eats many types of fish. He is slowly gaining weight, and his plastron and carapace are toughening up – a good sign he is bouncing back.
June 5, 2017: Jacques is really enjoying his new digs in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery. We have really enjoyed watching guests observe Jacques as he is a very active and charismatic patient! Jacques was taken off of antibiotics this week, which is a great sign. Though he is well on the road to recovery, he still has a significant amount of weight to gain. Make sure to take a moment to say “hi” and get an up-close look at this beautiful loggerhead.
June 15, 2017: Jacques received a physical exam and blood draw by our vet team this week. Jacques is slowly gaining weight, and his body condition is improving! Visitors often comment on how active he is in his new Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery tank.
July 3, 2017: Jacques is continuing to gain weight and is a very active patient in Recovery! Jacques has been off of all antibiotics for some time and is on the mend with the help of a nutritious diet. We will take another blood draw and do a physical exam in the next week. Come visit Jacques in Recovery!
July 15, 2017: Jacques continues to thrive and is slowly regaining the weight that he lost due to debilitated turtle syndrome. He is one of our more active patients- come say hello to Jacques in Recovery!