Stranding Location: Fishing Pier, Myrtle Beach State Park, SC
Arrival Date: 05/28/2015
Weight: 31.6 kg (~70 lb.)
This thin loggerhead was apparently in search of easy prey in the form of bait at Myrtle Beach State Park’s (MBSP) fishing pier. Fishermen at the pier gently brought this turtle up with a large net once they realized it wasn’t a fish they had hooked. Luckily, these fishermen left a couple of feet of line attached to the hook, which greatly aids our efforts to remove hooks from sea turtles! State Park Rangers, knowledgeable in how to aid hooked sea turtles, initiated rescue efforts to bring this turtle to our sea turtle hospital for the medical procedure required to remove the hook from this turtle’s glottis (essentially, the back of the tongue). Interestingly, this is the second young loggerhead caught on hook-and-line this May at the Myrtle Beach State Park fishing pier.
This loggerhead, named “Ranger,” was fortunate to have been caught on hook-and-line and rescued from the water prior to becoming so weak that it stranded on the beach. Ranger’s overall health upon admittance was certainly poor (indicative of Debilitated Turtle Syndrome) but not critical. The heart was beating strongly at 32 beats per minute and blood work revealed marginal values (PCV 13, total solids 1.9). Marine leeches were present on many of this animal’s soft tissues at admittance; these leeches will need to be removed as they do contribute to this animal’s anemic state as they consume blood. Our vet easily removed the hook from the glottis without the need for surgery and, following the administration of fluids and antibiotics, Ranger was housed in a tank of filtered fresh water overnight. Prognosis is good.
3 June 2015: Ranger has had two additional fresh water baths to fully remove the marine leeches present on his skin. Although he hasn’t passed a fecal yet, his activity level is decent and we are slowly increasing his diet to improve his overall health.