Stranding Location: In-Water Capture off Capers Inlet, SC
Arrival Date: 06/05/2015
Weight: 32.0 kg (~71 lb.)
The SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) In-Water Sea Turtle Research team captured their second debilitated loggerhead this year, named “Dewey,” on June 5th. (The first turtle, Botany, is still undergoing treatment in our sea turtle hospital.) This SCDNR research team monitors the health and status of local sea turtle populations by using shrimp boats outfitted as research vessels to trawl the waters of South Carolina and Georgia. Turtles captured in their nets are temporarily brought on board to undergo a full health assessment, including blood work and tissue sampling for genetics, before being released back into the Atlantic. Captured sea turtles that are clearly diseased or injured are transferred to our hospital for rehabilitation prior to being returned to the wild.
This 71-pound juvenile loggerhead was also missing part of his left front flipper at admission, likely due to an old bite wound from a predator. His blood work was poor but not nearly as bad as we see in turtles that are admitted after stranding on the beach. This is primarily due to the fact that Dewey was rescued from the water, prior to his illness progressing to the point that he would have been too weak to swim against ocean currents. Initial treatments included antibiotics, injectable vitamins, as well as intravenous and subcutaneous fluids.
17 June 2015: Thanks to the fact that Dewey was rescued before becoming critically ill, his prognosis is good. This loggerhead is already passing fecals regularly and is currently eating about 1.25% of his body weight in healthy fish daily. We will continue to increase his feed to facilitate both weight gain and a much needed improvement in internal health.