Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Laurel Bay near Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, SC

Arrival Date: 06/21/2011

Age: juvenile

Weight: 3.5 kg (~7.7 lb)

Case History

This 3.3 kg Kemp’s ridley was caught by a recreational fisherman in Laurel Bay and transported to our Sea Turtle Hospital by SCDNR staff. Laurel arrived with a circle hook in her esophagus which will require surgical removal.


Our veterinarian, Dr. Shane Boylan, performed a successful hook removal surgery using injectable anesthetics on 22 June. Circle hooks are more challenging to remove than typical J-hooks and this, combined with the depth of the hook, meant we had to make an incision in the side of the neck to remove the hook. Laurel recovered well overnight and is continuing her treatment regime of antibiotics and fluids until her esophagus has healed enough to allow her to eat.


10 July 2011: Laurel began eating well on 5 July and is enjoying the healthy diet of smelt, mackerel, salmon, and shrimp we offer. We expect a quick recovery and are hopeful we’ll be able to return this little ridley to the wild later this year!

17 August 2011: Come cheer Laurel on as she returns to the Atlantic Ocean this Friday at 4:30 P.M. at Isle of Palms County Park.

Release Date


Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park, SC

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