Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 05/30/2018
Weight: 2.47 kg (5.4 pounds)
Ginny was found by sea turtle nesting patrol volunteer Larry Williamson as he was walking the beach around 6:30 am. Something caught his eye so he went to investigate. From afar, it looked like a pile of sand covered in shells, but Larry walked over and realized that it was a turtle! Larry is no stranger to finding stranded turtles. He also found Destiny back in 2017. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) volunteer transporter Linda Mataya responded to the call and transported the little green sea turtle to McClellanville. The turtle was handed off to Isle of Palms SCDNR volunteer transporter Barb Gobien, who picked Ginny up for the final leg of her journey to the South Carolina Aquarium for treatment.
Upon arrival, Ginny was extremely lethargic and minimally responsive. Due to her inactivity, Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) staff knew they needed to work fast. She had a significant amount of large barnacles on her shell, and one on her beak right next to her nose. Her body condition was very poor so extra care was taken when handling. Ginny’s emaciated state and blood work indicated that she suffered from an affliction called Debilitated Turtle Syndrome (DTS). She was given fluids and vitamins to help rehydrate her, and she was also started on antibiotics. She was left to rest in a bin for the day while staff admitted two more patients- it was a super busy day in the STCC! Ginny’s blood work was marked by poor results and anemia, a symptom we often see with debilitation cases. That evening she spent the night in shallow water. The next morning staff offered 1 piece of fish and 1 piece of lettuce. She nibbled on both – a great sign!
June 2, 2018: Ginny has been doing well this week. She nibbles on food each day and has already defecated a lot of natural seagrass! We are continuing to monitor her carefully as she is still incredibly weak and debilitated.