Green (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Garden City, SC
Arrival Date: 04/30/2016
Weight: 2.1 kg (~5 lb.)
The fourth juvenile green turtle to be admitted into our sea turtle hospital in April 2016 was lucky enough to be rescued by Trae Wright, a Charleston-based firefighter and paramedic on vacation with his family in Myrtle Beach. While on the beach in front of the Conch Café, Trae and his family observed a group of people trying to place a beached sea turtle back into the ocean. Although much more accustomed to saving human lives as a Senior Flight Paramedic with LifeNet of South Carolina, Trae recognized that this little turtle was in need of immediate medical attention and promptly made a phone call to report the stranded turtle to SCDNR’s sea turtle hotline (1.800.922.5431). This little green we’ve named “Conch” was very fortunate that Trae made the right call, as stranded sea turtles returned to the ocean by well-meaning beachgoers often don’t receive medical treatment necessary to save their lives and ultimately succumb to their illness or injury.
Terry Graham and Mari Armstrong, Garden City turtle team volunteers and long-time supporters of our Sea Turtle Rescue Program, transported Conch to our facility where our veterinarian, vet tech and sea turtle biologist were ready and waiting to help. Upon arrival, Conch was weighed, measured and given a full physical examination to assess his/her condition. Our team pulled and processed Conch’s blood and, based upon the blood work results, administered appropriate supportive care. Dehydration and low blood sugar were treated with fluids, and Conch also received antibiotics and injectable vitamins. We were concerned when Conch’s x-rays revealed a distended gastrointestinal (GI) tract full of digesta and gas, and the GI gas is preventing us from properly assessing the lung fields. In our experience, green sea turtles presenting with these symptoms are often suffering from impactions, frequently caused by consuming plastic debris, and require intensive care to recover.
3 May 2016: Conch has been scheduled for a CT scan on Tuesday, May 10th. This will permit us to more fully assess this turtle’s lungs and GI tract and better assess what is causing Conch to float sideways in the water with the left side significantly higher than the right.
1 July 2016: Unfortunately, little Conch passed away Friday morning from pneumonia and two masses on the liver.