Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Stranding Location: Kiawah Island, SC

Arrival Date: 03/28/2009

Age: subadult

Weight: 36.4kg (80-pounds)

Case History

A debilitated loggerhead was found washed up on the beach on Kiawah Island Saturday afternoon and transported by the SCDNR to the Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital. The turtle is moderately emaciated and has a moderate to heavy load of external epibiota (barnacles, algae, skeleton shrimp). In house blood parameters looked remarkably “normal” except she had no measurable glucose (hypoglycemic).


Fluid therapy, antibiotics, and dextrose were administered over a few hours on Saturday afternoon/evening. Supportive therapy continued on Sunday. On Sunday evening, the dextrose therapy showed some signs of efficacy because she began swimming during a test float. The prognosis is still guarded at this early stage in her treatment.


14 April 2009: Kiawah started eating soon after being admitted into the Turtle Hospital. This is wonderful news! Radiographs were taken to be sure there were no hooks or intestinal blockage…all looked good. She is going to be moved out of the triage (ICU) tank and into a “real” holding tank very soon!

4 May 2009: Kiawah is eating well and very active. We are thrilled with the progress and look forward to taking this turtle off antibiotics very soon.

15 May 2009: Kiawah is going great. The turtle is very active and really a joy to care for. He/she always looks out of the window and tilts his head to the side like he is trying to figure us out…very inquisitive looking. He is eating well – about twice the amount of the others his size. We are trying to get him to put on some of the weight that was lost in the time he was sick! In addition to assorted fish for weight gain and stability, we have been feeding live blue crabs. All of the loggerheads in the hospital get them and it is a real treat to watch them chase them down!

6 July 2009: Kiawah is a really strong, feisty loggerhead! She has changed a great deal since the day she arrived at the Turtle Hospital so sick. We are looking at all release parameters to see if we will be able to release her soon.

15 July 2009: Kiawah is being released with 2 other turtles on Sunday, July 26th at Beachwalker County Park on Kiawah Island. Carpooling is recommended and parking fees apply. Come join us!

Release Date


Release Location

Beachwalker County Park, Kiawah, SC

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